Cybersecurity Series: Protecting Your Private Information Online, Part IIBy First IB on June 6, 2016
You have locks on the doors of your house and car for a reason…to protect your family and possessions. The same should hold true for your private and financial information. Following are some tips from the FDIC for keeping your banking and other information safe online.
- Install anti-virus software and set it to update it automatically. These programs help detect, prevent and remove malware that can find their way to your computer (through an email attachment, a file downloaded from an infected website or contaminated thumb drive) and access your private information.
- Keep your operating system, browser and anti-virus software up to date. Software manufacturers periodically provide updates that protect against security vulnerabilities or weaknesses. But before you install any update, confirm its authenticity by contacting the provider and/or checking its website.
- Be careful about providing your information to third parties. Some “account aggregation” services allow you to pay bills, monitor your transactions or keep track of other accounts from a single site. Though it may be convenient, these sites also present potential security issues. Do your due diligence with these organizations and make sure the sites are legitimate.
- Only use security products from reputable companies. When it comes to security, it pays to do your homework. Look for reviews from other consumers, publications or ratings sites to ensure you’re using the right tools and will have access to support in the event you need it.
- Use Internet safety features. Whenever you’re entering or accessing private information (online banking, shopping, completing an application, etc.), it’s best to use sites that encrypt your information as it travels to and from your computer. Make sure you’re on a site that’s secure (look for a Web address that includes the “s” in https://, which stands for secure).
- Be careful where and how you connect to the internet. While it is convenient to connect to Wi-Fi in a public “hotspot”, it may not be worth the risk to your personal security. Public connections can be used by criminals to obtain your private information. The best way to ensure your safety and security is to use your personal computer, with a secure and trusted connection.
First IB is committed to safeguarding your information and we’re always looking out for you by sharing practical tips like these. Please call us toll-free at 1-888-873-3424 if you have any questions about protecting your personal information.