More and more of our financial assets re moving to the cloud nowadays. It’s hard to avoid that in some cases, especially if you live in a developed country. And with this strong push to digitalize everything, some people have started to fall behind the times, and as a result have felt the impact financially.
Security is an especially tricky issue that’s important to get a grip on as early as possible. There are many aspects to modern digital security, and it’s no longer something that’s optional to learn. It’s critical if you want to protect your finances and a large number of them are online in some form. That said, here are some tips to get you on the right track. Note that this list is far from complete, but it will at least help you sort out some of the most common problems people tend to have with their own digital security.
Good Password Discipline
Failing to follow reasonable password rules is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It’s not just about setting a strong password once. You have to avoid reusing any of your old passwords whenever you sign up for a new account. In some cases, it might be a good idea to rotate your passwords on a regular basis to ensure that no saved credentials can be reused.
And needless to say, you should never write any of those codes down or store them in otherwise accessible locations. You’d be surprised how many people get compromised in this exact manner, and it looks like no amount of education is going to prevent some from doing it.
Have Alerts for Everything
It’s easy to set up alerts for many types of your accounts and services these days, and it’s a good idea to do it as early as possible. From your e-mail to your bank account, you should be notified as soon as something is out of the ordinary. Using two-factor authentication on top of that is a good way to ensure that hackers will have a hard time getting into your accounts. They will need to break into multiple devices instead of just one.
Of course, these alerts won’t be of much use if you don’t pay enough attention to them, so check regularly. If you get a notification about an attempt to login to a service that requires 2FA, don’t just ignore it – this means someone has access to at least one of your passwords already!
Be Wary of Scams
Scams are everywhere in the digital world these days, and you should have an untrusting attitude if you want to get by safely. Many of these scams will be designed to compromise your credentials and hit you where it really hurts – your money. Phishing is a good example of this. It’s a class of attacks that attempt to imitate the design of a popular website – such as your online banking – in order to steal your credentials for it.
Understand the Underlying Technology
Considering how much you probably use the internet and how interconnected everything in your life is these days, there’s hardly any excuse for remaining ignorant about the way it works. You should at least understand the fundamental underlying principles behind your smartphone, your computer, and some of the most popular services that you use on a daily basis.
This is especially true with things like online banking and e-commerce sites. If you don’t have at least a basic understanding of the corresponding technology, you risk falling for some of the most common scams on the market.
Be Suspicious by Default
In the end, you’ll realize that the only sensible way to combine money and the internet is to maintain a suspicious attitude about everything. The unfortunate truth is that many people out there are out to scam you, and this has ruined a good number of free – and even paid – services. But on the bright side, as long as you keep that in your head at all times, you can simplify a lot in your life.
You don’t even have to be asked directly for any credentials or bank account details in order to fall for a scam. Simply revealing the wrong details about yourself to the wrong stranger can sometimes be enough to land you in a lot of trouble in this digital age, when people are able to connect dots that you don’t even know exist. With that in mind, try to keep all of your accounts as separated as possible. Use separate e-mails for important accounts (like your bank and payment ones), and never reuse passwords between any of the services that you’re signed up for.