Now that you may be spending more time at home and online, knowing how to keep your sensitive information and conversations safe has become even more important.
Are you following the best practices for protecting your financial details (and other sensitive data)?
Here are five steps you may want to take.
Use a password manager. Do you struggle to remember which version of your favorite password goes with which site? Eliminate this frustration while improving your security by doing some research and choosing an expert-approved program. What makes these programs safe from hackers? They heavily encrypt your data.
Choose Password phrases over one word password. Having a phrase is much more difficult to hack than a simple one word password. Adding symbols (if it's allowed) and numeric, upper case and lower case letters adds to the complexity.
Consider a VPN subscription. A virtual private network keeps your data secure and your activity private when you’re online, even on public Wi-Fi. Security pros recommend using a paid service. Why pay? Free VPNs often sell your data or come with malware.
Install an authenticator app. Do you get two-factor authentication codes by text message or email to log in to your financial accounts? For better security, consider using an authenticator app whenever possible. But, even a text, email or phone call-based account verification feature is better than relying solely on passwords, even if you’re using a password manager.
Be aware of voice-activated smart home devices. These devices have been known to activate unintentionally with words other than their programmed wake word. Once activated, they can potentially record and store what you say — something to keep in mind if you have confidential conversations at home. If you do not want to share your conversations with Siri, Alexa and the likes, it's best to turn to them off.