Most of us enjoy the conveniences of shopping online. But in this digital age, it is more important than ever to protect yourself against cyber-crime and identity theft. What can you do?
1. Make sure you secure all documents that contain confidential information. Shred copies or out-of-date documents. Use a cross-cut shredder or a reputable shredding company.
2. Create passwords that are complex. Combine numbers, letters, and symbols. Cyber thieves are getting better at cracking passwords. Make it as difficult as possible for them to compromise your passwords.
3. Use security questions that are not on your website or social-media profiles. Use challenge questions that only you can answer.
4. Review all the transactions on your statements and bills. Contact your provider immediately if you see any suspicious activity.
5. When making purchases online, only use secure websites with “https” in their web address, rather than just “http.”
6. Do not reply to suspicious emails. Do not open attachments if the email appears strange or is unexpected or is asking for personal information. Even if the email looks like it is coming from an institution you know, contact them directly rather than replying to the email.
7. Keep your computer up to date with virus protection, security patches, and firewalls.
8. Regularly check your credit reports, or subscribe to a reputable service that does this for you.
There is no way around it. The internet has changed all of our lives. Take personal responsibility to protect yourself.
For more insight, listen to Jentner Wealth Management’s weekly podcast by clicking here. Or download Jentner’s white papers on The Four Cornerstones of Prudent Investing and The Active Versus Passive Investing Debate.