As BERS works hard to secure your financial future, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from cyberthieves. Check out our list of 5 ways you can protect your financial well-being.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that tries to steal data, login ids, or credit card numbers. The cyberthief known as a Phisher, will try to trick you into giving up this information. Phishing attacks can occur by phone calls, text messages, or through social networking sites. Phishers will sometimes pose as family or friends, so be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone calls that ask for personal or financial information.
Clicking on a link sent from a phisher can open pop-up windows or other malicious links that could have viruses and malware. Be cautious of links and attachments in emails, text messages, and social networking sites from senders you do not recognize. Also look out for links that are in a shorter format such as “bit.ly”. Never enter personal information in response to an email, pop-up webpage, or any other form of communication you did not initiate.
Simple passwords and reusing the same passwords can make it easy for a cyberthief to access your account. Creating unique, complex passwords is important. A strong password contains at least 8 characters and includes a combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters. If you have trouble keeping track of all your passwords, a password manager can help, but avoid using a built-in browser-based password manager as they can be vulnerable to attacks as well.
If the account offers Two Factor Authentication: set it up! While it is still vulnerable to cyber threats, it does make it harder for attackers to gain access to your online accounts because even if your password has been hacked, the password alone will not be enough to pass Two Factor Authentication. Keep in mind, if your Two Factor Authentication offers an authenticator app-based option, this is safer than email or text message authentication.
Remember that your mobile devices are also vulnerable to cyber-attacks, not just your computer. Make sure you always lock your device with a pin or password and never leave it unprotected in a public setting. Do not click on any links from attachments or unsolicited emails or texts because these can contain malware or viruses as well. Also remember to be careful when using free Wi-Fi or phone charging terminals in public areas since these are also vulnerable to cyberthreats. Your phone holds all your personal data so make sure you treat it like your wallet. Remember to always keep it up to date.