Seven Tips to Protect Against Data Breaches

Data breaching has become more and more common with the growth of the Internet. Fraudsters often get credit card numbers over the Internet and make fraudulent charges at the cardholder’s expense. Investigators are doing what they can to limit the number of breaches but there are some things consumers can do to help the cause and protect themselves and their financial accounts. Here are some tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

Pore over your account statements. Regularly check your statements for any unfamiliar charges. Hackers will often make a “test” purchase before they buy something bigger to see if they can get away with it. If you see any charges you’re unsure about, call your card company right away and report it.

Choose hard-to-guess passwords. Simple words, children’s names and birthdays are easy to guess because people may know them. When creating a password, use letters and numbers in a way that will be easy for you, and only you, to remember.

Don’t re-use the same passwords on multiple sites. It’s tempting to use the same password for different sites because it’s easy to remember, but it can create a major problem if one of those sites gets hacked.

Change passwords with the seasons. To be safe, you should change your password once every three months.

Don’t use your smartphone for financial transactions. Many mobile devices lack virus-protection software, making them easy to attack. If you use your smartphone for banking, be sure to use an app offered by your financial institution rather than the browser.

Enable password protection on your smartphone. If you store your passwords anywhere in your phone, hackers can quickly break in. Safeguard yourself by enabling password protection.

Avoid over-sharing on social media sites. By sharing your pictures, birthdays and other personal data on Facebook and Twitter, you risk making it easier for fraudsters to guess your password.

For more information, please visit Yahoo! Finance.

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