Protecting Your Online Data:

Much has been made in recent times of the rise of the tech giants. And, with good cause. Many a business would have surely foundered during lockdown had it not been for laptops and online meetings. Yet where there is cause for positive news, there is always a flip side – and with increased technology, of course, there comes increased risk. So, we’re taking a brief look at the current situation and how you can take control of protecting your online data.

The Current Situation

The pandemic has seen an unprecedented number of people look to online solutions. With greater exposure to the internet comes greater comfort in venturing further into online interactions. What starts off as just doing your online food shopping fast turns into doing your banking online with everything else following in hot pursuit. It makes sense. Making life more manageable and giving greater accessibility is what the internet was designed for. But, it does mean that we are also increasing our exposure to scams. The good news is that a few savvy tips can ensure you stay protected online!

 

 

How to Protect Yourself Online
online banking at home
Do your online banking at home.

You should never trust the wi-fi in places like airports or cafés. As one industry expert put it, there are certain things you should only do at home: wearing pyjamas, flossing your teeth and online banking.

protecting your online data re password protect
Use a password management tool.

That’s something else that is – hopefully – gone for good. The name of your pet, followed by 99, is not a good password. RT5@%hj58F4G!*fd4R may not be the most memorable password in the world, but it is going to cause a hacker a few more problems than Benjy99. With all of us now using multiple passwords, it makes sense to use a password management tool to keep things secure.

protecting your online data re protect devices
Always protect your devices.

There are six simple steps you can take to protect your devices. First, install antivirus software and keep it updated. Make sure your firewall is turned on. Keep your operating software up to date. Be careful about what you download and the sites you visit. Clear your cache and your browsing history and, finally, turn off your device when you’re not using it.

your digital footprint
Keep your digital footprint to a minimum.

It is becoming increasingly difficult, but individuals and companies should try to keep exposure of their personal and financial data to a minimum. One expert recommends entering credit card details only once and activating two-factor authentication for all your online transactions and accounts.

Banks and financial institutions are doing their best to help – and yes, we all lose patience with their seemingly endless checks sometimes. But in the final analysis, it is up to us to protect our online data. Hopefully, the four points above will help you do that.

The last one?

It’s simple. Common sense, constant attention – and remembering that if something looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is too good to be true.

As always, if you have any concerns about financial scams, do seek help before you commit to anything. Remember, you can always report a suspected scam to the FCA, and there are many reputable advisers out there (like us!) who would be glad you checked in with them first!

Written by Ben Griffiths

Ben is a financial planner from our Whiteley office. While he specialises in pension planning, Ben is also able to generalise into all other areas of financial planning.

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