Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Yourself Online
We spend so much of our lives online; connecting with friends and family, making purchases, arranging grocery deliveries, conducting financial transactions, and even working and learning digitally. How can we be sure we’re protecting ourselves and our information out there in cyberspace? It’s crucial to ensure you’re keeping your information secure when you’re online. We’re here to help with these tips for staying safe online.
Use Strong Passwords & Usernames
Your login credentials are the gateway to your accounts and information, so they should be your strongest and best protected form of online security. It may seem like password security requirements are becoming more and more complex, but these strict requirements are to help you keep your accounts secure. Cybersecurity experts recommend creating a unique password that is at least 8-12 characters long and includes a complex mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (such as !,@,#,$, etc.). There are a number of things to avoid using in your usernames and passwords, including dictionary words and identifying information in part or in full, including birthdays, pet or family names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. These types of personal information are some of the most commonly stolen data; using them in your usernames and passwords makes your credentials vulnerable and easy to figure out.
Don’t Repeat Passwords
Another top cybersecurity tip: don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. Repeating credentials across multiple accounts only increases your risk of fraud. It’s understandable to want to only have one password for everything, that would surely save a lot of time and effort thinking of and remembering passwords. But the problem is that cybercriminals know most people prefer to keep things simple. So if they are able to obtain your credentials for one accounts, they will try those same credentials for multiple other accounts, and eventually they’ll have access to anything that uses the same password. This is why it’s so important to create strong, unique passwords for each account you access online. That way if a cybercriminal gets their hands on a password that was compromised in a site’s security breach, they won’t also have the password to your financial accounts. Your digital banking password should always be different from what you use for any other site or account.
Update Your Credentials
For any usernames and passwords you use that don’t meet the above security requirements, update them to increase their security and ensure your protection. But don’t stop there! Once you update your credentials, set a reminder to update them on a regular schedule. Cybersecurity experts recommend updating your passwords every 30-90 days. The more frequently you update your credentials, the more secure your accounts will be.
Utilize Biometric Features
Most smart devices now have embedded biometric features such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. Since your face and fingerprint are entirely unique to you, these technologies prevent anyone else from gaining access to your device and apps like Digital Banking. Your Robins Financial Digital Banking app on your smartphone allows you to enable biometric security like fingerprint authentication through Touch ID. This feature scans your fingerprint to verify that it is actually you before allowing access to the Digital Banking app and prevents any unauthorized users from accessing your account. Take advantage of biometric security features whenever available to increase your protection.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor or two-factor authentication is used as an added means to verify your identity when there is an attempt to access your online accounts, particularly if the attempt comes from a device that is different from the one you normally use. Multi-factor authentication usually requires you to enter a time-sensitive code that is sent to you before you are able to complete your login attempt. For your Robins Financial Digital Banking account, we use multi-factor authentication in the form of a Secure Access Code (SAC) which you may be prompted to receive then enter so we can verify you before granting access to your Digital Banking account. This extra step in the verification process protects you by providing an added level of security that makes it far more difficult for someone else trying to get into your accounts. Multi-factor authentication is incredibly beneficial for any accounts you access online, not just for your Robins Financial Digital Banking accounts. We recommend enabling this feature on every account possible so you can take your account protections to the next level.
Strengthen Your Security Questions
Security questions are used to help you reset or recover your password in case you forget or in the event your account becomes compromised. Just like passwords and usernames, your security questions also run the risk of being compromised by hackers. Make sure the questions and answers you choose aren’t anything that can be easily found online. Even if you think you’re not sharing personal information online, you still could be. Chain posts frequently circulate on social media as fun “getting to know you” posts, where you’re asked to share things like the name of the street you grew up on, children or pet names, your mother’s maiden name, the year you were born, etc. While these types of posts may seem harmless, it’s not fun and games when this information falls into the wrong hands. Cybercriminals monitor online activity, and can use these posts to gather answers to common security questions. Avoid sharing these types of posts or information online. If possible, change your security questions and answers to something that is not as easily accessible, thus harder to guess for cybercriminals attempting to crack your accounts.
Review Privacy Settings
The level of security you create with your privacy settings online determines how much of your information is accessible and by whom. Review and update your privacy settings regularly on all of your social media profiles and other online accounts you have, as well as the privacy settings for the apps you have installed on your device.
Never Share Your Information
Above all, the most important thing you can do to protect your sensitive information online is to never share it with anyone else. This is the best way to ensure your personal data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. You should never share your Digital Banking login ID or password, account number, Secure Access Codes, security questions, or any other account information or identifying information with anybody under any circumstances. Even if someone contacts you claiming to be from your credit union. Robins Financial will never contact you over the phone, in an email or text message, on social media, or by any other means to request this information from you. We do not need it to verify you. Any attempt to get this information is a fraudulent attempt and should be reported to us immediately.
The safety and security of our members is a top priority. Protecting your information works best when we have your help. Let’s work together to keep your accounts protected. To learn more about how we protect our members every day and how you can protect yourself, review our Security and Fraud information online, and watch our Scams and Fraud playlist on YouTube.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.Learn More Security Tips