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How To Protect Your Personal Financial Information

According to a Federal Trade Commission report, consumers reported over USD 5.8 billion in losses in 2021. Some of these losses may be to online fraud as a result of sharing personal financial data.

Author:Dexter Cooke
Reviewer:Darren Mcpherson
Feb 24, 2023
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According to a Federal Trade Commission report, consumers reported over USD 5.8 billionin losses in 2021. Some of these losses may be to online fraud as a result of sharing personal financial data.
In today's society, where online crimes give security authorities sleepless nights, any simple mistake in handling your personal data can be a gateway to losing control over your accounts. Hackers and scammers are constantly looking for an entry route to steal sensitive customer information and wipe out bank accounts.
Unfortunately, such acts can go undetected if not examined closely. Therefore, you must take the necessary steps to prevent fraudsters from compromising your personal financial information and hurting your financial status. So keep reading as we explore measures you can take to protect your personal financial information.

Use Unique and Strong Passwords

Technically, it's easy to generate a password that you can remember. You may keep it simple using a known person’s name, pet, place, or a number combination. However, the downside to using simplified passwords is that hackers can take a shorter period to crack them.
A strong password should contain a minimum of 12 characters with a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols. If you find it difficult, current systems may allow you to use a random, hard-to-crack password generator and password manager to create and securely store the password. This way, you won't need to memorize your strong passwords.

Keep Personal Data Confidential

When entering information online, it's important to always be cautious. A legitimate transaction will never ask you to provide certain personal information unless you are being scammed. This includes your Social Security Number(SSN) and any numbers about your bank accounts.
In addition, keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, pop-up ads, and advertisements on your computer or smartphone that require you to key in personal information. These may often seem to be from a known source, but they originate from scammers who use techniques such as phishing to deceive you into disclosing confidential information.
Be extra careful when you speak with salespeople over the phone. Never provide more information than is necessary and always check the credibility of the company before handing out personal information.

Using Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security procedure that gives a layer of protection to your bank accounts besides the password. It necessitates the submission of a second form of verification. This second verification is usually a randomly generated code to your phone or email. For instance, anyone attempting to access an online cash advance loan from your bank account remotely without this code will fail, even if they have your correct password.

Using Updated Software

Software updates often include security patches and bug fixes to address potential vulnerabilities. Keeping your software up to date will help to protect your personal financial information and prevent hackers from taking advantage of any weaknesses in the system. This applies to your financial software and your operating system, web browser, and other applications.

Use Secure Connection

Ensure you use a secure connection when accessing your financial accounts, such as online banking or investment sites. A secure connection employs encryption to protect the information you send over the internet. A secure web address will begin with "https" rather than "http". The "s" in "https" stands for "secure," which prevents hackers from intercepting credentials.
Furthermore, be extra cautious when using a public Wi-Fi network, as these networks are never fully secure. You can use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data even when using public Wi-Fi networks.

Safe Disposal of Financial Documents

Personal financial document disposal is important in preserving your personal financial information. You should always shred any financial records containing sensitive information, such as bank statements, credit card statements, bills, and tax returns.
If these documents fall into the hands of the wrong people, they can be used to commit identity theft and other sorts of fraud. If you must retain some financial documents for an extended period, put them in a secure area, such as a locked file cabinet or a safe.

Conclusion

We all know how hassle-free technology can make our lives . Gone are the days expending energy on a trip to the bank - you can acquire cash as effortlessly as by getting an over the phone loan. However, it is important to remember that protecting your personal financial information, whether in hardcopy, softcopy, or when transacting and communicating online, is a must in this digital age. Any loose information is sufficient to extract the rest of your data and cause a huge financial loss. Taking these proactive measures can protect your financial information and reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft.
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Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Author
Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
Darren Mcpherson

Darren Mcpherson

Reviewer
Darren Mcpherson brings over 9 years of experience in politics, business, investing, and banking to his writing. He holds degrees in Economics from Harvard University and Political Science from Stanford University, with certifications in Financial Management. Renowned for his insightful analyses and strategic awareness, Darren has contributed to reputable publications and served in advisory roles for influential entities. Outside the boardroom, Darren enjoys playing chess, collecting rare books, attending technology conferences, and mentoring young professionals. His dedication to excellence and understanding of global finance and governance make him a trusted and authoritative voice in his field.
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