Cybersecurity is all about being cautious when engaging in online activities, protecting yourself, and reaching out for help when you encounter something suspicious. Here’s a deeper dive into the 10 cybersecurity best practices from the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) that they listed in their recent issue of Independent Banker Magazine.
1. Enable the strongest authentication tools offered by your bank. Popular authentication methods include biometrics, security keys and single-use codes.
2. Use unique passphrases as passwords and differentiate them across multiple platforms. Length trumps complexity. A strong passphrase is at least 12 characters long.
3. Do a system check. Purge unused apps and outdated or sensitive information stored in old files and emails and ensure all software on internet-connected devices is current.
4. Manage social media settings and minimize information sharing. Just a few data points can create a pathway for exploitation by cybercriminals.
5. Use Wi-Fi judiciously. Limit the type of business conducted over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging in to key accounts like banking.
6. Monitor account activity regularly for irregular transactions, and report discrepancies to your financial institution immediately.
7. Back up intellectual property and other digital information and store it safely so in the unfortunate event of a ransomware or other cyberattack you have a way to retrieve the data.
8. Read the fine print when purchasing items online. If prompted, do not save credit and debit card information on the merchant’s website or app.
9. Be mindful when shopping onllne and look for signs of illegitimate websites. Spelling or grammatical errors, missing contact information, and suspicious URLs or email addresses are all red flags.
10. Look for special indicators such as web addresses with https:// that denote extra measures taken to help secure your information. URLs that end in .BANK are assigned for exclusive use by financial institutions.