Keep your Accounts and your Computer Safe: Cyber Security Tips

by Achieva Financial
Jul July 05

There have been many stories in the media about ransomware attacks striking universities, hospitals and other organizations. Ransomware doesn’t just hit large companies: it can target individual users, locking all of the files on your computer unless a ransom is paid. Account hacking, phishing scams, and malware are other risks people face when using a computer or other digital device. Follow these tips to safeguard your financial information, computer, and digital devices:

Run the latest anti-virus software available on your computer

It is essential to run anti-virus software on your computer, and to keep it updated at all times, as well as run the most recent version of your operating system. It is also important to have a firewall running to protect your computer from malware and viruses.

Change your Passwords Regularly

Change your passwords regularly, and avoid using the same password on different websites. If one website is compromised, this places your accounts on any other websites at risk. When choosing a password, ensure that it uses a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. If you have difficulty keeping track of your passwords, install and use a password manager.

Be Careful when Using Public Internet Connections  

Use caution when you are connected to a public Internet connection, such as Wi-Fi at a café. Never use a public network for banking, online shopping, or any private work activities. If you are out and must do any of these activities, use your phone’s data connection instead.

Check Website Security

Before buying something online or performing any online banking, check to make sure that the website begins with https:// or contains a padlock icon beside the address bar. This means the website is secure and information you provide to the website is encrypted. For additional security, avoid saving any card information in your online accounts.

Take Caution when Clicking Links in Emails

If you do not know or trust the email sender, be very cautious when clicking any links in their email. It could be a fraudulent email with links that will direct you to a phishing website or install malware on your device. For more information on scam emails, click here.

Check your credit card and bank accounts weekly to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. You can do this conveniently through online banking. If you see a suspicious charge, immediately get in touch with your financial institution, change your account password, and arrange for any other necessary security measures, such as a new credit card or debit card.