8 Ways To Protect your online identity and financial information
Make a quick mental list of all the websites where you’ve shared banking or credit card information, your social security number, home address, or other vital personal information. It’s probably difficult to remember them all.
In today’s digital world, virtually everything can be done online -- from making purchases to depositing checks to booking travel. Our digital fingerprint is increasingly widespread, making it more and more challenging to keep track of all of our online interactions.
As a result, we are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, data breaches and identity theft and it is more important than ever to be diligent. Here are eight cybersecurity tips to help protect you and your personal information.
Tip 1: Develop A Password Strategy
Passwords play a crucial role in protecting your online identity, but it’s easy to get lax about them. We tend to repeat the same ones and choose short passwords we can easily remember, but this tactic makes us vulnerable to cyberattack.
As a rule, your passwords should be at least 10 to 15 characters long and should combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Always create unique passwords for every website where you share your personal information. Don’t use your birthday, address, or social security number.
To overcome the challenge of remembering them all, opt for a password manager to keep track of passwords. Apple devices use “keychain access” or you can select one of the other many password manager options available. Finally, set reminders on your phone that prompt you to change your passwords at regular intervals. For another layer of security use multi-factor authentication when available, which requires two or more types of information to verify your identity.
Tip 2: Use Only Secure Internet Connections
Never share your personal data when using public WiFi networks. For example, don’t make financial transactions or input sensitive information like your social security number or bank account numbers when using an unsecured network or publicly available WiFi.
Tip 3: Always Update Your OS and Software
Mac and Windows operating systems come equipped with firewalls and anti-virus software, though you can opt for other online firewall or anti-malware programs. To stay protected, it’s important to keep your operating system and anti-malware software updated to the latest versions. Keeping your system updated is one of your most effective weapons against cyber-attacks.
Tip 4: Always Back Up Your Data
Make it a regular practice to back up your data. Back up your files to the cloud or a removable hard drive. In the event of a cyber-attack, you’ll be able to restore your identity and rebound more quickly.
Tip 5: Wipe Your Devices Clean
Your home computer, laptop, iPad and even your thumb drives store tons of information about you. Leave it to a professional to wipe your devices clean before selling them to others. They may eventually end up in the wrong hands. With the right skills, determined hackers can find your credit card, banking and other information.
Tip 6: Avoid Phishing Scams
When in doubt, don’t click on links delivered via email or in a pop-up message on your screen, especially if you’re not familiar with the sender. Phishing scams often use such links to install malware on your computer or browser, or advise you to call them, with a goal of capturing your login and password information, or financial information.
Tip 7: Prevent Unauthorized Banking Transactions
Your bank is a trusted partner vested in protecting your accounts from unauthorized transactions. First Hawaiian Bank offers credit card fraud monitoring, online fraud prevention resources and direct customer support, available 24/7. Other bank services may include two-factor authentication, callbacks following suspicious bank transactions, and multi-person approval processes. We are here to help keep you safe.
Tip 8: Be Aware of Suspicious Activity
Although you cannot completely control whether you become a victim, you can minimize your risk by managing your personal information cautiously and reporting any suspicious activity. FHB Online & Mobile Banking, is a great way to monitor daily activity on your FHB accounts for unexpected charges or withdrawals.
Here are some warning signs of suspicious activity:
- Failing to receive bills or other mail. This may signal an address change by an identity thief.
- Being denied credit for no reason.
- Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
- Review your credit report to see if it contains inquiries and information about accounts that you did not open.
How to Report Suspicious Activity
If you suspect fraudulent activity on your accounts, are the victim of identity theft, or suspect an FHB related phishing scam, contact First Hawaiian Bank immediately at the following:
- 844-4444 (from Oahu)
- 888-844-4444 (from continental U.S., Guam, and CNMI)