3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

Cybersecurity

Recent retail foibles have us all a bit on edge about our personal data. High-profile security breaches at Target and on SnapChat remind us it can happen anywhere, to anyone. It leaves us marveling a bit (not in a good way) at how a simple transaction can cause a great deal of angst in the weeks after it.

I never go to Target,” one friend said at a post-holiday party to me. “But I did just before Christmas. Not even for gifts, but for shampoo. And I used my debit card.

“So now, I’m checking my statement every day, calling about the balance, hoping the bank is also keeping an eye out for me …”

Retailers and social-media administrators work hard to protect your data, and breaches like the ones Snapchat and Target recently experienced are nightmares for those entities. The problem is, hackers and scammers work just as hard to beat the system and get to your data.

There’s no such thing as “hacker proof,” it turns out.

Here’s what happened

1. Target

Hackers accessed data for as many as 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target locations in December, including encrypted data that contained personal identification numbers. Target claims the PIN data is not at risk, but cybercrime experts still warn against potential of risk.

Action: Target offers free credit monitoring for those who might have been affected by the breach. If you were affected, that’s not much help now, but at least you’re protected from another attack.

2. SnapChat

This photo-messaging app predicated on privacy – messages disappear after they’re seen – was breached with a “find friends” feature that revealed data for 4.6 million users. Although this breach had no financial implications, the compromise was of concern to many SnapChat customers.

Action: Site administrators issued a new version of the app that allowed users to opt out of the “find friends” feature.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself

Here are three things you can do today to help keep yourself a step ahead of the bad guys.

1. Register for free credit monitoring

Companies such as Credit Karma will protect against identity theft and unauthorized purchases. It monitors your credit nightly, and sends an email if anything unusual appears, including new accounts opened in your name. Credit Karma also safeguards against inaccurate credit reports.

Bonus: In the market for financial services? Credit Karma also offers consumer reviews for credit cards, mortgages and insurance purchases too.

2. Protect your data—physically and online

Your social security card should never live in your wallet. Also, your passwords and usernames shouldn’t be kept on a piece of paper, in your wallet, car or home. Never give out your social security number to anyone who calls you and claims they’re from your financial institution.

Banks, credit card providers, and utility companies will never do that. In the wake of the Target breach, companies like Verizon and Wells Fargo have even proactively notified their customers that they never solicit information via email or phone call.

Bonus: Multi-platform app LastPass manages and encrypts passwords across all your services.

3. Set up mobile alerts

Some financial institutions, such as Citizens Bank, offer mobile alerts of any account activity. These services will send you a message if your account balance dips below a specified amount, signal a check clearance, and even send your five most recent transactions on a schedule you set.

Most national banks and large credit card companies offer similar services, so take advantage of them.

Bonus: Consider changing your debit card’s PIN number on biannually or annually, or if you suspect your information was released in a breach like Target’s. Although PIN information is encrypted once you enter it on the keypad, it’s good peace of mind to actively change the first wall of defense from someone withdrawing money in your name from an ATM.

4. Protect your network

Keep your electronic data safe from prying eyes at home by securing your WiFi network. Many Internet providers include wireless routers with their service. Setting a protected network is easy, and worth the five minutes spent.

Data stored on the cloud is vulnerable to hackers. Massachusetts Institution of Technology researchers have developed protection against hacks to memory-access pattern analysis (the means by which computers store and access data) by broadcasting false information to remote server data requests.

Bonus: When you don’t have other people jumping on your wireless service, you could experience faster speeds. Lock up that wireless signal!

By Alexis Caffrey

Alexis is a freelance writer with a focus on technology, new media, and design . You can reach Alex via @AlexisCaffrey or alexiscaffrey.com.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cyber Security: The New Frontier The security environment of the 21st century is constantly evolving, and it’s difficult to predict where the next threats and dangers will come from. But one thing is clear: the ever-expanding frontier of digital space will continue to present firms and governments with security challenges. From politically-motivated Denial-of-Service attacks to…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009,…

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Interesting Big Data Facts You Didn’t Know The term Big Data has been buzzing around tech circles for a few years now. So much, in fact, that you’re probably getting sick of hearing about it. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about big data via The Visual Capitalist: Big Data got its start in…

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal IBM and SAP have shaken the cloud computing world this afternoon with the announcement of one of the largest cloud deals in the industry’s history – bringing together two of the largest technology companies in a bid to offer a more holistic service to their clients. SAP…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Branded Content Programs

Advertising