Don’t Get Hacked! Internet Security Tips to Protect Your Finances & Identity

GoodDayMoney TreePersonal finance is often used as a generic term, with the ‘personal’ aspect overlooked. Each of us faces unique challenges and opportunities to common goals. Making more money will vary based on our goals, time and skills. Debt reduction strategies will vary based on amount, types of loans and other factors. Similarly, investing depends on personal factors such as time horizon and risk tolerance.

However, there are money topics where a similar approach has broad benefits. Internet security is a priority with high stakes for anybody using a computer. Online security breaches to your finances could result in messy and expensive cleanups.

Thankfully, you can boost cyber security with a few simple steps and technology. Here are a few ideas:

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN SecurityA VPN uses encryption to enhance your password and internet security. Web security is always important, but particularly on unsecured networks. If you’re using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, VPN encrypts web traffic in case someone is snooping. Mobile VPNs are also available for smartphone users. Elliott Broidy and international investors often use VPNs to access company resources when overseas.

Where do you log in to accounts? Using a VPN adds assurance to personal logins wherever you may be.

Strengthen Your Password Recovery Answers

Protect Your PasswordYour social media posts can reveal information that risks privacy in several ways. Where we went to school, hometown and pet names are tidbits that can affect internet security.

How? Password recovery questions ask about this info. Most of us feel confident in the strength of our login passwords. However, password recoveries are important, as well. You should make recovery answers random and complex for financial sites.

Instead of words, consider mixing numerals, letters and symbols. Managing your social media with a broad perspective on security is also a best practice.

Password Security: Many folks store password data on their hard drives. Unfortunately, doing so means a virus can quickly compromise all your passwords.

Are there solutions? Various apps will store and encrypt passwords. Meanwhile, a VPN will encrypt real time logins.

Download Wisely

Safe Download?Bit torrents are apps that allow peer to peer sharing of files. Copyright issues aside, pirated downloads can wreak havoc on your computer. Many bootleg videos carry malware, such as Trojan computer viruses. As a result, you may lose control of the computer and sensitive information.

If you choose to download videos, consider sites such as Crackle or Hulu. After all, dealing with a few commercials is preferred to your computer being hacked.

Think Before You Click (or don’t click at all)

Despite warnings, phishing scams continue unabated. Crooks often mask their URLs to resemble brand name companies. For instance, an email from may come over as Once the victim clicks the link and logs into a bogus site, their accounts are breached.

Watch Your ClicksTo avoid this, hover (don’t click!) your mouse over the link. The link destination will appear at the bottom of your screen. Make sure to read carefully, per the earlier example.

Mobile devices make it easy to stay connected, but offer security challenges. Smaller screens and keys can make navigating more difficult. Squint, zoom or do what is needed to ensure the link is legitimate.

Best Practice: Avoid clicking links. You can directly log in to online banking or brokerages, if needed.

Summary - Make Technology an Asset

Technology facilitates money management. With basic precautions, you can have peace of mind to make informed decisions online.

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto