Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart!
Oct 04, 2021
Do Your Part! Be Cyber Smart by Protecting Your Sensitive Data!
Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? The National Cybersecurity Alliance has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage everyone who uses a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone to protect sensitive data and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud. Being cyber smart is especially important when accessing financial accounts online.
Maspeth Federal Savings and the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) suggest how to safeguard your bank accounts when online:
- Use multi-factor authentication, not just your username and password, to access your accounts. (MFS offers customers this option to provide an extra layer of security.)
- Use unique passwords for each of your online accounts and do not save them in your browser. Consider using unique passphrases as passwords such as sentences that are at least 12 characters long. Otherwise, use a password manager that creates and saves complex passwords for you across all your digital devices.
- Remove unused applications (apps) and update all software on internet-connected devices.
- Manage social-media settings and minimize information sharing.
- Avoid logging into key accounts like banking over public Wi-Fi connections.
- Monitor account activity regularly for transaction irregularities and report any discrepancies.
Here are some additional precautions you may take to ensure your accounts aren’t compromised:
- Back up digital information and store it safely in case you need to retrieve it if a ransomware or other cyber threat occurs.
- Do not save credit- and debit- card credentials on a merchant’s website or app.
- Stay vigilant when shopping online. Secure sites have a URL that begins with “https.” Only shop at reputable sites. If a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
- Look for special indicators in a company’s web address that reflect extra measures to secure its customers’ personal and financial information.
- Don’t click on links unless you’re sure they’re from a reputable source.
- Update the operating system on your mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. And update your applications – especially the web browsers and antivirus software – on all your devices, too. Leverage automatic updates for all devices, applications, and operating systems.
- When shopping online, the best payment option is your credit card. While the risk of fraud is always lurking in the background, credit cards come with additional consumer protections that other payment methods lack. Another option would be to use gift cards because they aren’t linked to your bank account.