Protecting Your Smart Devices
Your smart devices, including your smartphone, tablet and computer, store a wide range of your personal information. If you use these devices to conduct financial transactions, you’ll want to ensure that you keep them protected to safeguard your personal data against potential security risks.
Control Your Device
The easiest way to protect your personal information is to set up a password or a PIN on your device, and not share it with anyone. Some smart devices, and even some apps, have the ability for you to set up a touch authentication that scans your fingerprint before allowing access. Fingerprint scanning and new face scanning technology prevents anyone else from accessing your device and the information that may be stored on it, such as your login credentials or other sensitive data. It is also wise to change your settings so that your device will lock after a few seconds of not being used, rather than staying unlocked for extended periods of time. If you leave your device unlocked and unattended, anyone can access the information on your device. Additionally, you can check with your service provider to see if anti-virus software is supported on your device. Installing an additional layer of protection can go a long way in keeping your device and your information safe.
Verify Your Security
Before entering any personal information on your device, make sure you’ve taken a few precautions. When using your internet browser, check for the padlock symbol and “https” at the front of the URL in your browser’s address bar. The “s” indicates that the connection is secure, and the padlock indicates that your browser will encrypt any personal information you submit online. Make sure your connection is secure before making any financial transactions or accessing any websites that require you to login with a username and password.
The messages that pop up on your screen telling you that there is a new update available for your device can be annoying, but these updates usually include enhanced security measures. Newer versions of apps and operating systems typically repair security errors and bugs that were discovered in previous versions. Your information can be put at increased risk the longer you go without installing new updates. Hackers can exploit weak spots in those security flaws if you don’t keep your devices updated.
Before you download and install a new app on your device, it’s important to verify that you are downloading the official version of the app from your device’s specific app store. There are phony apps that may initially appear to be credible, but actually contain viruses that put your device at risk. You should also pay attention to what type of information the app can access before you agree to download, and regularly review the privacy and security permissions for each app on your device.
Stop and Think
When you receive texts, emails, alerts and other message, take a moment to exercise caution before you respond. Scammers have become very clever as well as technologically advanced in their means of attempting to gain access to personal information. If you receive a message you are unsure of, it helps to stop and consider for a moment when determining if it is legitimate. And keep in mind, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Robins Financial Credit Union is committed to protecting the safety and security of our members. To find out more about how we protect our members every day, feel free to give us a call or stop by any of our branch locations.