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Security & privacy

Online banking checkup: 3 must-do steps to protect your login

Criminals are around every corner online, trying to steal your credentials and rip you off. From phishing emails to spoofed websites to malicious apps, there is much to worry about.

If someone gets their hands on enough of your personal information, they can steal your identity and ruin your credit. Tap or click here for signs that someone has opened a bank account in your name.

Unfortunately, your online bank accounts are not as secure as you’d expect if you don’t take the proper precautions. Read on for three things you must do ASAP to protect your bank accounts.

1. Use a robust password

Studies show that nearly 65% of large companies have over 500 employees using old passwords. Many of these employees have never changed their passwords since joining their organizations.

Here are a few ways to keep your password effective:

  • Use phrases with spaces. They’re much more challenging to attack mathematically.
  • Include letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Change your password every 3 to 6 months.
  • Try to avoid reusing passwords.

You can use sites like Dashlane to generate your password if you’re unsure where to begin. Need more help? Tap or click for 10 tips to secure your accounts with strong passwords.

2. Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) ensures that only you are accessing your accounts. With 2FA enabled, a secondary form of verification is required to prove your identity instead of just entering your username and password to log in to an account.

The second form of verification can be something only you know (an answer to a question), something you have (your device), or who you are (a fingerprint, voice pattern or facial scan).

You enter the temporary code, and voila — you’re in. Because most hackers can’t access your phone, your account should be safe. Tap or click here for more details on 2FA and why you should enable it whenever available.

3. Never log in to your bank using public Wi-Fi

Yes, this even includes your local Starbucks. Malware, phony hotspots, unsecured networks and nefarious passers-by might all be able to cut in, compromising your data and account.

Public Wi-Fi networks do little to nothing to protect your privacy. Cybercriminals know this and use free Wi-Fi networks to find victims. If you connect to public Wi-Fi without taking precautions, thieves can steal login credentials to any account you sign into while on the network, including your bank accounts.

That’s why it’s critical to avoid free public Wi-Fi. But if you must connect, don’t do it without a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN allows you to browse the internet while encrypting your sensitive information. This helps hide your online credentials and IP address.

But you can’t trust just any VPN. There are plenty of free VPN services that were created to rip you off. Using one of those VPNs doesn’t protect you at all. That’s why you must use a VPN you can trust. We recommend our sponsor, ExpressVPN.

You can get an extra three months free with a 12-month plan using Kim’s link for listeners and readers. Go to ExpressVPN.com/Kim to try it out.

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