The other day I helped my Dad set up some his bills online. He was pretty happy about it because it wouldn’t have to pay for stamps, worry about bills getting paid on time and having to go mail them. But he was a little concerned about whether paying bills online was safe. Here are some of the tips I gave him to help him ensure his bank account number was safe online.
Use strong passwords
A strong password is going to include upper and lower case characters, numbers, punctuation, and more than 5 characters. Try to make a password that is not actually a word. Complex passwords that aren’t actually a word are much harder for criminals to guess. For example Puppie562 is a good password because it’s not actually a word, includes an upper case letter, numbers, and lower case letters.
Use Trusted Computers
When you are checking your online banking accounts make sure you are using a trusted computer. Make sure the computer has virus protection against malware, spyware, and keystroke viruses. On your own computer remember to keep your virus protection as update to date as possible.
Don’t get fooled by phishing scams
This scam is widely known but still works on many people each and every day. A phishing scam is criminals obtain your email address and send you an email that looks like it is coming from a legitimate company or bank. The email will ask for you to log into your account to verify some of your personal information. The link in the email will go to site that has nothing to do with the legitimate company or bank. The phishing scam can also be done by phone. Remember to not give any of your personal information to people you cannot be sure who they are. If you are unsure of an email from a company or a bank call the company directly and ask if the email is real. Remember many companies will not email you asking for personal information.
Be diligent in monitoring your financial accounts
Often account fraud happens and is not found for some time for many older Americans. This is because many people are not checking their accounts often enough to see if any criminal activity is taking place. You want to check your bank accounts at least once a week to make sure that there is no suspicious activity accruing on your account. If you do discover any activity that seems out of the ordinary contact your financial institution as soon as possible.
These tips should help you with your online banking and keep you and your account information secure. Remember to never give any of your personal information out to anyone you cannot verify who they are, make strong passwords, use a trusted computer and monitor your account often. If you do these things you should have no problems with online banking.
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800)401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.