The wealth of technology and information at our fingertips has left us in a place of extreme convenience—we can do everything from pay our bills to manage our finances, all with just a few taps of a screen or clicks of a mouse.
However, with digital convenience comes a slightly greater security risk, which means it’s important to take all of the precautions necessary when managing your accounts online.
You can protect your digital wallet with just a few simple steps, ensuring that your important data is always secure and protected.
1. Create a strong password
When it comes to keeping your financial and other private information secure, this piece of advice is a no-brainer. Create a complex password that doesn’t include easily guessable elements, like your birth date, part of your name, or the last four digits of your social security number.
2. Use different passwords for different accounts
Many people use the same password for multiple logins because it alleviates some of the hassle of having to remember so many different usernames and passwords. A tip? Use different logins for different accounts so that in the event that one of your passwords is comprised, it won’t put all of your other information at risk.
One way to make this less of a hassle is to use Mint.com, a free and secure service that lets you manage all of your bills and accounts online or via mobile apps. When you sign up for Mint, you only have to input your usernames and passwords one time, and then you automatically have all of your accounts in one place. Then, the next time you sign in, you can be automatically directed to your provider’s site (e.g., ATT.com) to pay your bill, without entering your password.
3. Update your software when prompted
Outdated software makes it easier for hackers to target you and exploit your private data. If you use an iPhone or Android, your phone should send you an alert when it’s time to install the new software. Make sure you know exactly how your device works so that your software is always up to date. This also applies to your individual apps — when the app has a new version, update it.
4. Password-protect your phone and/or tablet
The main reason to enable password protection on your phone is in the unfortunate event that it gets lost or stolen. It may take a few extra seconds for you to access your own information, but the effort could be worth it in the long run.
5. Track your phone
There are a slew of top-rated apps out there that make it easy to track your phone if it gets lost or stolen. Some apps even allow you to lock and erase data if you want. Two of the best ones are:
Find My iPhone. This app allows iPhone, iPhone and Mac computer users with the most up-to-date software (iOS 5) to locate their device, lock their device and then automatically erase the device’s contents, no matter where they are. If you’re an Android user, you can also get the same perks with the Find My Device Google service!
By following these simple tips, you can rest easy knowing that your digital wallet is safe and secure.
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