Whether you are a business owner or an offshore investor, it’s always important to be extra careful when using new technology for managing your finances. The threat of a data breach can cost you millions of hard-earned dollars.
Keeping your financial data from falling into the wrong hands should be a priority, considering that hackers and thieves continue to develop newer methods and tools to gain access to your bank accounts and use your personal information for acts of fraud.
You definitely don’t want this to happen to you, so consider these important tips for securing your financial data, wherever you are in the world.
1. Be Wary When Opening Emails
One of the most effective ways hackers can steal huge sums of money is through malware like SpyEye. These types of software are designed to acquire bank account information and siphon large amounts of money from online accounts.
Typically, malware can automatically install itself if you click on a link attached to an email from an unknown source. Most emails like these will go directly to the spam folder, but hackers are figuring out new ways to bypass spam filters so that malicious emails would appear on the main inbox.
The best way you can avoid a malware invasion is to analyze suspicious emails. A typical malware email comes from an unknown sender. Moreover, the content of the email includes a link as well as text asking you to verify your information or solve a problem.
If you don’t know where the email is coming from, and if it entices you to click a link, it’s best to send it to the trash.
2. Use Better Passwords
If you have multiple bank accounts enrolled online, you need to know how strong a password you have set for each one.
Most people would prefer using simpler passwords, thinking that these are easier to remember. No doubt, setting your birthday or the names of family members as passwords render your accounts vulnerable to trial-and-error hackers. Using more complex passwords that contain special symbols and numbers should frustrate anyone from attempting to access your accounts.
To add an extra layer of security across all your accounts, consider using a unique password for each one.
3. Know Who You Are Dealing With
Planning to purchase plane tickets for a luxurious trip to the Philippines? Scouting for new offshore investment opportunities? Perhaps you are looking for a money transfer service that will help you move capital across borders?
For these, it’s important to know if you are dealing with a legitimate service provider or investment partner. Anyone can set up a fake travel agency or investment firm. All it takes is a professional website to cover up a scam that could cost you your retirement savings if you are not careful.
Before you share your credit card information or initiate a debit transaction, keep these tips in mind:
1. Check if their website is secure
If the web address starts with “https://”, then it’s safe to share your financial and bank information, since these will be encrypted.
2. Call them directly
Look for their office phone numbers and give them a call. You might as well have second thoughts if you are directed to voicemail every time.
3. Look for reviews and complaints
Try searching for the company or service provider on Google and look for comments from past clients or partners. If you find an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, it’s best to drop it and move on.
4. Avoid sites with lots of pop-up content
Often, these pop-ups contain links for downloading malware and other types of malicious software.
Despite this, there are hazardous enterprises that pass themselves off as legitimate, making it hard for unsuspecting investors to distinguish them from a potential scam. You just have to be extra vigilant and avoid making any hasty decisions just because you are promised the best.
4. Logout From All Your Devices
Fintech apps allow us to access bank accounts and financial data from PCs, phones, and tablets. We often get so caught up by other matters that we tend to forget logging out from all these devices. Closing the browser won’t do any good, so it’s important to log out so as to prevent anyone from gaining instant access to your accounts on the off chance that they grab hold of any of your devices.
After using apps like Paypal or Sigfig Portfolio Tracker, make sure to log out. You should also avoid saving your login credentials. You may have to sacrifice some convenience here, but it beats losing thousands of dollars from unauthorized withdrawals.
5. Set Up The Right Software
Whether you are in Belize or some island in the Caribbean, it’s important to reinforce your defences against possible attacks by hackers who could be based in some other part of the world.
If you are thinking about setting up your very own office at an offshore location, you need to have all the right gear in place. You can start by purchasing a powerful antivirus and antimalware program. Companies such as McAfee and Kaspersky are especially known for creating some of the world’s most effective cybersecurity tools, so consider getting one for your computer and mobile devices.
Aside from antivirus software, you also need to set up a virtual private network or VPN to encrypt data coming from your devices. This is very advantageous if you make online banking transactions every day. You just have to choose a VPN that will give you peace of mind every time you log in.
6. Avoid flexing on social media
Sure, you may want people to know that you are living luxuriously on a tropical island with millions of dollars in an offshore bank account. But it’s still important to keep a low profile on social media.
Attracting too much attention and taking pictures of checks and other financial documents (even if they are blurred out) will only serve to turn you into a target for fraudsters.
You have worked long and hard to live a luxurious life in a foreign land, but it will only take seconds for hackers to turn this dream into a nightmare. Apply these tips and don’t give them the chance!
I hope you enjoyed reading: How to Secure Your Financial Data
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