Securing Your Smart Devices
Our devices help make our lives more efficient and organized and help us stay connected. They also are host to all sorts of personal data about us. Especially when you use any of these devices to make purchases or conduct other financial transactions. Our smartphones, computers, tablets, and even smart TVs and smart speakers are all there to help make our lives easier, but it’s important to make sure we take steps to keep them secure so we can protect our personal and financial information.
Enable Security Features
One of the easiest and also most important ways you can protect your information is to set up password or PIN protection on your device as well as all of the apps that have that capability. Many apps and devices also have biometric security features you can enable, such as fingerprint or facial recognition. Your face and fingerprint are unique to you and you alone, and will prevent anyone else from being able to access your device and the information stored on it, such as login credentials or other sensitive data. You should also update your automatic lock settings so that your device will lock after a few seconds of not being used. If you leave your device unlocked and unattended, anyone can access the information on your device.
Protect Your Network
Check your network settings and make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure and protected with a custom and complex password. This will help you protect each of the devices connected to your network. Verify that your connection is secure before accessing any websites that require you to login with a username and password and especially before conducting any financial transactions. When using your internet browser, check for the padlock symbol and “https” at the beginning of the URL in the address bar. The “s” indicates that the website connection is secure, and the padlock indicates that your browser will encrypt and protect any information you submit online. You should only enter personal information on websites you know and trust.
Verify & Update Your Apps
When downloading new apps on your device, verify that you are installing the official version of the app from your device’s app store. There are imitation apps that may appear credible, but contain viruses that put your device and your data at risk. It’s also important to be cautious with that information you allow each app to access before agreeing to download, and regularly review the privacy and security permissions, especially with each new update. These updates for your device’s operating system and apps also often include enhanced security measures or bug fixes for security errors that were reported in previous versions. The longer you put off installing the latest updates, the more at-risk your device is to hackers exploiting weak spots and security flaws.
Safeguard Your Smart Speakers
Making sure your smart speakers are connected to a secure network is the first step in protecting the information you share with these devices. Additionally, be mindful of what you share. To avoid any potential privacy risks, never share any credit card details or other sensitive information. You can also mute your speaker’s microphone when you’re not actively using it to ensure it doesn’t hear anything you don’t want it to, and enable voice recognition so it will only interact with your voice. You should also enable safeguards when making purchases directly from your speaker to be sure you are the only one initiating purchases and you know exactly what they are, and set up email notifications so you can keep track of the activity on your device.
Protect Your Information
As the digital world continues to change, so do the ways scammers attempt to gather information. They have become very technologically advanced in their attempts to mine personal data, so it’s incredibly important to exercise an abundance of caution when receiving unexpected communication. The best defense against suspicious phone calls, emails, and text messages is to not engage, and never provide any information. Hang up the phone call, don’t respond to the text or email, delete the message, and don’t click any links or open any attachments. This is the best way to make sure your information 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 a 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. If you do receive a call claiming to be from your credit union, another financial institution, credit card issuer, or any other company and you are unsure if it is legitimate, hang up the phone and call them back directly using the number on the back of your credit or debit card, account statement, or the phone number listed on their website. Using your best judgment is the most important step in protecting your accounts. If you are ever unsure if it is really us contacting you, do not engage with any contact attempts and call us directly so we can confirm if we were really trying to reach you.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, 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.