Protecting Your Identity Online
Making purchases online has become simple and quick, but you want to be sure you’re protecting yourself before you hit “confirm purchase.” If the wrong people gain access to your accounts, you might find yourself with a lot less money than you thought. Here are some steps you can take to help make sure that doesn’t happen:
Avoid Public Computers and Wi-Fi
You’ve likely taken precautions to secure your home network, so it makes sense to do most of your online activity there. Public computers are convenient, but be careful before entering passwords and sensitive account information when using these machines. Many store login data in the web browser history, so after you leave, the next person who uses that computer might be able to see your login credentials and access your account. When using public computers, always be sure to log out of any accounts you are signed in to, and it’s also a good idea to take it one step further and clear the device’s browser data when you are done.
If you’re on your own laptop or mobile device but using public Wi-Fi to access the Internet, you could run into similar issues. You can’t be sure the network you’re on is secure, and if it’s not, a lurking hacker could see any information you send. When you use public Wi-Fi, consider updating the settings on your device to make sure you don’t automatically join networks you won’t use regularly.
Update Your Security Software
Many antivirus companies will send security patches to your computer automatically, so you don’t have to be a tech genius to get the most up-to-date protection. In addition to installing an antivirus program, it’s a good idea to check your operating system, web browser and mobile devices to make sure they also have the latest software updates so you can ensure you’re secured, no matter where you go.
Buy from Trusted Companies
Shopping from trusted brands and companies not only gives you confidence in the products you buy, these brands are also more likely to have the latest and most effective security measures in place to protect their customers. If you’re considering making a purchase from a company you aren’t familiar with, do some research first. How long have they been in business? Do they have a history of positive customer reviews and ratings? Asking these questions first can save you money (and hassle) if the business turns out to be illegitimate.
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Security requirements may seem to become more and more complex, but this is for your safety. Your password should never be easily guessed, so avoid any references to personal information such as the name or birthday of yourself, loved ones, or pets. Never include any portion of your Social Security Number, account numbers, credit card numbers, phone numbers, or current or past addresses. Security experts recommend that you change your passwords at least every few months, and never use any variations on previous passwords. If you have difficulty meeting password security requirements, try using a random password generator to help you create strong, unique passwords. And remember, the username and password you use for your digital banking accounts should always be different from the login credentials you use for anything else. You can change your Robins Financial Digital Banking passwords anytime using our Forgot Password self-serve form.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, safeguarding our members’ information is a top priority. We have tools in place that help you monitor and track your finances, so you’re never caught off guard. We even help you monitor your FICO® Score by providing eligible members access to view their FICO® score within Digital Banking. To learn more about how we protect our members every day, give us a call or stop by any of our branch locations.