How Secure Are Your Online Finances?
Do you use online banking facilities? Do you do any online shopping? Do you pay your bills via a website?
In this article, we highlight the importance of being vigilant with all aspects of your online financial security.
The balance has now tipped very much in the way of online financial transactions and it is very important to take steps to ensure that your online finances stay safe.
What is the risk?
As technology continues to evolve, so do the lengths that criminals are prepared to go to in order to steal identities, open false accounts and gain access to money which is not theirs.
When it comes to handling day to day finances, it has never been easier than it is right now; we are rarely more than a click of the mouse away from transferring money, paying bills and checking our balance.
However, have you ever taken the time to ask yourself how secure all your day to day financial activity is? You should as the Telegraph highlights that ‘Fraud cases were up 60 percent as criminals head online’!
Some more pretty scary stats regarding online fraud activity:
- £500 million – UK bank customers lost £500m to scams in first half of 2018
- 96% – More than 96% of reported fraud cases go unsolved
- 104 cases per 10,000 – London revealed as the UK capital of online scams with 104 cases per 10,000 people
- 900,000 – Find that thieves have used our card details to make purchases or to withdraw money from our accounts
Simple steps to staying safe
- Internet security software – ensure a good quality internet security software is installed on your device, to help prevent all the hacking attaches that may occur, and remove harmful virus’s, etc. from. See the best internet security software 2019.
- Avoid Free WiFi – free Wifi can easily open your device to hackers, so if you are tempted, restrict your activity to browsing the web only, for shopping and internet banking would be potentially very risky.
- Firewall – make sure you have your firewall turned on, on your Broadband router.
- Software backups – hackers can exploit out of sate software, so on all devices make sure all software is up to date.
- Passwords – make sure you have passwords that
- others could not guess
- are not written down on paper or on your device
- are unique and not the same as other passwords
Use common sense to stay safe
There are lots of ways that hackers will try and ‘scam’ us, such as send an email, and try and get us to click on a link or open a document.
So only click on stuff, and open things from people and companies you trust.
Your own judgment is one of the best ways to make sure you do not visit the website, enter your bank details to anywhere but safe places.
Are you already a victim?
It can be surprising just how easy fraudulent online activity such as identity theft can be.
The interception of personal online details, a bank statement in your bin and finding a PIN number written on a piece of paper are just some of the simple ways that fraudsters can gain the information needed to run amok with your online financial details.
Because of the subtlety of the actions of many online criminals, many victims of identity fraud are blissfully unaware of the fact they have been targeted until the damage is already done.
The team at the Fraud Advisory Panel has drawn up a list of invaluable tips that can help you to recover your money if you have already been a victim. For more, please download this PDF.
Checking your credit rating can help
One sure-fire way to keep a track of your online finances is to keep a regular check on your credit rating.
By doing this you will be able to see if any new accounts have been opened in your name and against your current address. If you have never taken the time to find out your credit score and credit file before, now is definitely the time to do so.
By checking your report, you will access details relating to all of your credit accounts, including who they are with and when they were opened. If you find any entries which you do not recognise, it is absolutely essential that you query these immediately.
If you believe that you have been victim to either identity fraud or identity theft, please click on the following link to find out the steps which must be taken – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/identity-fraud-and-identity-theft
It has never been easier to check your report
Fortunately, it has never been easier to check your credit score and history online than it is right now. By simply opening an account with an agency such as Checkmyfile, you will be able to gain access to all of the relevant information within just a few moments.
Please Note – It is also important to note that your credit score is also the rating system that lenders use to determine whether a potential borrower is likely to be creditworthy.
To see what sort of information is held on a credit file, please check out the dedicated Which? article by clicking here.
For more information relating to keeping your details safe, please check out the following video:
We are a firm of online loan brokers, so we have a keen interest in online safety, both for our own business security, and that of our customers.