Investing your hard-earned money in stocks, bonds, or other investment vehicles can be a great way to build up your financial future. After all, you’ll never know when an emergency might strike, and having a decent nest egg could save the day. But what if someone gets access to your account information? Your savings could be gone before you even realize it. Thankfully, there are several ways to make certain your investment information is secure.
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1- Use Strong Passwords
It sounds obvious, but there are still plenty of people out there who use easy passwords like “123456” or “password.” A hacker who manages to get into one of those accounts will find it easy pickings for their next target. So create complex passwords with numbers, capital letters, and special characters. And don’t forget to change them every few months.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
An even better way to keep your information safe is to use two-factor authentication. This means you’ll need not only a password but also some sort of code sent to an app on your phone before being allowed access to the account. If anyone tries guessing or stealing your credentials, it won’t take them long into their attack before they run out of potential codes. Give Friends and Family Limited Access Even with strong passwords and two-factor authentication in place. People can still get into your accounts if they know enough about you. That makes it all the more important that you limit what friends and family members can see to avoid any unauthorized activity from happening.
2- Keep Your Account in a Safe Place
If you list your bank account or brokerage information on the internet somewhere or hand it out to anyone who asks (it happens), someone could easily get hold of it if they want to commit fraud. Don’t let that happen! Instead, keep your account info secure – and make sure other people know that too. Always tell people what they need to know and set firm rules about how much personal financial information they can share with third parties. If they refuse to play by your rules, drop them from any joint accounts right away. You’ll sleep a lot better at night.
3- Protect Your Online Accounts
When was the last time you checked over your bank and investment accounts? If it’s been a while (months or years), it may be time to log in and check again for any unauthorized activity. And if you get an email that looks like it’s from your bank, but they never send emails, things could still be amiss. So go ahead and call the number on the back of your card just to make sure.
Make Sure You Have Backup Information
If you lose your phone or someone hacks into it and gets access to all of your financial information, then you might have some serious explaining to do when calling up banks or inquiring about those losses! It may seem silly but always save backup contact information for each one of your financial accounts just in case. You can keep it with your will and other important documents, or you can store a copy of that information on the cloud via Dropbox. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
After all, there are a lot of ways for hackers to get their hands on your data, and with these three tips in place, you can help prevent that from happening. So take action today; it’ll save you a lot of headaches later down the road!