How to Protect Your Money & Accounts Online

money accounts onlineNot surprisingly, cases of credit card theft and general cyber-crimes increase around the holidays.

With Cyber Monday and the holidays approaching, chances are, you will be spending some money online. So how do you protect yourself from credit card theft, identity theft, or fraudulent advertisements?

Because Two Rivers Bank and Trust cares about your protection, privacy, and financial security, we asked our Information Security Officer, Sean Allworth, for a list of tips to protect yourself against cyber thieves.

Stay up-to-date on the latest security software.

With so many presents to purchase, make sure that every time you go to check-out, your card and your finances are fully protected. Sean Allworth says, “Keep your computer operating system, your internet browser, and your mobile device up to date with the latest security updates and patches.” Investing in an efficient security system is an intelligent decision. Consider the savings when your system blocks a cyber thief from stealing everything in your bank account!

Avoid shared networks and computers.

Shared networks and computers are a safe bet when your activities are irrelevant to any personal or financial matters. But when it comes to making your holiday purchases, avoid shared networks and computers. Sharing networks or devices can actually weaken your security and leave your passwords vulnerable to cyber theft.

Sync your devices.

Syncing your mobile devices with your personal computer strengthens security. Allworth adds, “You can sync your mobile devices with a computer for additional security, and be sure to use anti-virus and anti-spyware software to help find and remove viruses.” As long as your computer is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware software, syncing with your mobile device will enhance online security.

Don’t click blindly.

Don’t just click anywhere and everywhere. Allworth advises, “Always be careful about what (and where) you click online. A tip is to look for security-enabled website addresses that start with https: (the “s” indicates security).” Cyber-thieves create fraudulent advertisements and links meant to gain your attention. If the website is not verified as secure through your security software, do not click on the link!

Verify legitimacy before opening emails.

A major way cyber thieves steal from internet users is through the user’s email account. Allworth explains, “Keep in mind that links you receive via email or in messages on social networking sites can be harmful or fraudulent. Identify the address is legitimate or contact the sender directly to ensure legitimacy.” In short, if you see an advertisement or email that seems off, do not open it until you have contacted the alleged sender and verified legitimacy.

The holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy, security, and peace of mind. Be confident in your online purchases and contact Two Rivers Bank and Trust today to learn more about how we protect our customer accounts from cyber theft!

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