Business has been made to be so simple these days. By allowing transactions to be made on computers, tablets, and mobile devices, it’s also very convenient. We tell our friends all the time convenience is in constant tension with security. As a managed service provider, we encourage everyone to value the security of their information over convenience. Realistically, we know that’s not always how it is. If you are using your computer or mobile device for transactions, here are some tips you should consider.
Consider These When Doing Business Online
Obtaining bank, credit card or other financial credentials are the ultimate goals of cyber criminals. If they are put on the “dark web” or the marketplace of illegal activity, those credentials could be sold to many cyber-thieves. To help keep your credentials and money safe, consider how and where you access your accounts.
Access the internet via a private network.
That means using your computer at home on your own private, password-protected network is safer. The risk increases when you take your laptop to your local coffee shop and access the internet through their public Wi-Fi.
How many people are using your computer?
If you share a computer at home with your family, your risks are different than when you’re on your own personal computer or mobile device. Children (or unsuspecting adults) might accidentally click on links or allow malware to be installed on your PC without your knowledge.
What device are you using to access your accounts?
Criminals are constantly developing malware for popular devices. While Windows is the most popular operating system in the world and the most targeted, Apple users are not immune. Mobile devices are increasingly susceptible as well. Is your computer’s firewall turned on? Do you have updated antivirus software? On your mobile device, have you restricted what each of the apps is allowed to do? Many people have security setting available that are simply turned off.
Is there an app available?
If you can confirm that you have downloaded the correct app for your financial institution, that is safer than accessing through a web browser. Many banks, insurance companies, retail stores and more have developed proprietary apps for mobile devices, and have enhanced security capabilities within them to protect customer data.
Is two factor authentication (2FA) available?
Most financial institutions have the option to secure your account with two factor authentication or 2FA. This means a criminal needs to have access to your phone, mobile, or a physical key in addition to your login and password. This site lists known websites that have 2FA capabilities. You should enable 2FA for your cloud email services as well.
HOWARD TECH ADVISORS: YOUR PARTNER IN TECH
At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Whether you need assistance creating a disaster recovery plan or you’d like to outsource your IT needs, we can help! Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.