5 Steps To Keeping Your Financial Data Safe

Do you know if your personal information is safe? While it’s easy to think making a strong password is enough, data is breached constantly. The government is taking big action to prevent the rise in cyberattacks, but it’s far from perfect. A quick look at the top data breaches in Australia in the past few years shows millions of people are at risk. How do you keep your financial data safe?

Identity theft is a serious business. It happens more often than we’d like to think, and nobody wants to worry about the consequences if the wrong person gets ahold of your financial data. In this guide, we’ll share 5 important steps to keeping your financial data safe so you’re prepared. 

1. Make a Habit of Checking Your Credit Report

First, how often do you check your credit report? This is the most effective way to keep a close eye on accounts opened in your name. If someone is tampering with your information, it shows up here. Luckily, you can access your credit report for free in just a few steps. 

Not only should you check your score regularly for any changes, but take a close look at the report itself. If anything looks off or you don’t recognize it, take action quickly. You can file a dispute with the credit reporting agency and get these false charges removed. Additionally, you can lock down your credit before further damage is done. 

Bonus tip: Sign up for free credit alert monitoring. By signing up for credit report monitoring through your bank or a credit bureau, you’re automatically alerted if any new lines of credit or inquiries pop up on your report. 

2. Be Careful What You Share Online

We all like to share our lives on social media with those in our circle but beware that it might not just be friends and family lurking. Think about the common security questions for digital accounts (like online banking). They ask things like your address, mother’s name, pet names, birthday, etc. How many of these details have you accidentally let slip online?

Keep your sensitive information off the internet when you can. If you must share, consider making your accounts private and limiting who has access to your posts. When sharing information about your family, home, and important dates, blur any important details that could appeal to a cyber attacker. 

3. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication

The more steps someone has to go through to access your financial data, the more secure it becomes. In recent years, more digital banks have been using two-factor authentication to keep their customers secure. While you might think this is an unnecessary and annoying extra step, it makes a huge difference. 

Two-factor authentication is simple. In addition to entering your username and password, you’ll be prompted to also share a code that is automatically generated and changed every 30 seconds or so. This code is sent to your phone number, email address, or an authorization app. If you don’t have access to this code, you can’t enter the account. 

Two-factor authentication is used for bank accounts, utilities, and even social media accounts. This means any cyber criminals would need to physically have access to your phone or email account in order to get any personal financial information through these profiles. 

4. Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams

No, we’re not talking about the fishing you do on the water. This is about phishing scams. We’ve all laughed at the overdone “Nigerian prince” who needs you to send him hundreds of dollars right now, but this is only one example of phishing scams. In fact, these have become more elaborate and believable than ever. 

It’s estimated that 1.5% of all emails sent are malicious, most of these being some form of phishing scam. Always be on alert for tricks and schemes. Don’t give out your passwords or other personal information online or on the phone. Even if the account seems to be someone you trust, always verify. 

5. Use a Secure Password Manager

Last but not least, don’t rely on your tried-and-true password that you use for everything to keep you safe. Better yet, use a secure password manager. This is an encrypted tool that automatically generates secure passwords and saves them on your behalf. 

With these tools, each password is unique and includes numbers, letters, and symbols so it’s much more secure than your pet’s name. 

Some of the best password managers to try include Dashlane, Bitwarden, and Nordpass. Not only do you no longer have to remember tons of passwords, but you can rest easy knowing your financial data is safe. 

How Safe Are You Online?

It’s a good idea to brush up on your digital security every few months. The web is always changing, and so are security measures. The last thing you want is to end up on the receiving end of a data breach or cyber security attack. 

Make sure your financial future is protected no matter what. Not sure where to begin? Contact the experts at Debt Busters today for customized guidance in all the next steps. 

Speak to us today

Debt Busters is an Australian owned business which was founded in 2005 - since then we have been able to help thousands regain financial control.

Debt Busters prides itself on providing a dedicated Client Service Manager to work closer with you and provide a higher level of customised service about your situation.