We live in a digital world.
Not only does a large part of our personal lives exist on a cyber platform, but most of our professional and business dealings are hosted in cyberspace too.
Technology has made the world a smaller place, relationships are easier to maintain, and new connections are easier to make.
But with enhanced accessibility comes increased risk. Fraudsters now have infinitely more ways to access your personal information, your money, and even your identity.
How can I protect myself?
The most critical way to yourself against cybercrime is to use strong passwords. These are passwords that are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Do not use the same passwords out of habit. And don’t recycle old passwords.
Use Two-Factor Authentication.
This is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a code sent to your phone or email after you enter your password. It asks that you approve access to your account. This is so that even if someone has your password and tries to log into your account without your knowledge, they can’t as they won’t be able to access this final authentication.
Keep your software up to date.
Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in software to gain access to systems. Make sure that your software is always current by installing software updates on your devices when you are prompted to do so.
Be careful about what you click.
Phishing scams have become a well-known term. This refers to emails or messages that may appear legitimate but are, instead, from attackers who attempt to trick you into giving away your personal information.
Always look at the email address from which you received the email, and if you feel unsure, hover with your mouse over the link before clicking on it, so that you can see where the page will lead, and never enter your personal information on a website unless you are confident that it is secure.
Use Anti-Virus software.
Antivirus software can help protect your computer from many kinds of breaches in cyber security, including malware, and viruses. Make sure you have antivirus software installed on all your devices and keep it up to date.
Be careful when you use public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which means that anyone on the same network can potentially access your information. If you must make use of public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information, like your bank accounts or email.
Back up your data.
It is important to have a backup copy of your data in case it becomes compromised. Make sure to back up your data regularly to an external hard drive or cloud storage service.
Monitor your accounts.
Monitor your accounts, including your bank accounts and credit card accounts, regularly. This can help you detect any suspicious activity early on. If you notice anything unusual, report it to the relevant authorities immediately.
Be sceptical of unsolicited emails and calls.
Hackers often use unsolicited emails or phone calls to gain access to your personal information. Never give out your personal information over the phone or via email.
Never give out your login details or passwords to anyone. If you are worried that you will forget your passwords, use a secure digital password keeper to save the register of all your different passwords.
Educate yourself and stay informed about new trends in cybercrime. This will allow you to take proactive steps to better protect yourself against threats.
The Foundation approach
Over the years, Foundation has taken the utmost care to stay up to date with technological advancements, as well as regulatory requirements.
Although the additional administration of taking these precautionary steps may feel cumbersome to you, we must continue to apply stringent measures to combat cybercrime and provide our clients with peace of mind.
We encourage our clients to apply these measures in everyday life, and even beyond financial transactions.
<Foundation Family Wealth is an Authorised Financial Services provider>