Protecting Your Financial Information: A Quick Guide

It seems like we always hear of stories of stolen financial information in the news. Even in Singapore, stealing money by accessing another’s bank account is a rampant modus operandi. Being more vigilant and smart about our actions will help in preventing this unfortunate event from ever happening to us.

The truth is, no matter what method you do in handling your finances, there is bound to be some kind of risk involved. Practice these smart moves in order to keep your money and your personal financial information safe from people who want to steal your hard-earned money.
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  • Cleaning out your wallet

Many of us are guilty of doing this: carrying a lot, if not all of our financial information inside our wallets every day. Go through all the stuff sticking out of your wallet and examine everything critically. Take out the credit cards you do not regularly use. Important identification cards like your social security card should not be inside your wallet. Store these important documents at home or in a safety deposit box.

 

  • Use that shredder.

Credit companies and banks like to send paper mail for different purposes. Some of these mails can contain personal information on your financial accounts so be sure to purchase a paper shredder to safely destroy any important mail or credit card statements after reading and reviewing. Promotiona credit application mails should also be shredded since thieves can access information using this.

 

  • Beware of phishing.

Internet scammers use phishing to access your personal information though text or email. The important part is these texts or emails seem to be coming from trusted companies, those that you have accounts with. Hackers and fraud experts tend to impersonate these companies in order to get important information from you. Research online to get a hold of sample phishing mails and be more wary of immediately replying to one.

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  • Learn to freeze your credit.

Losing your wallet can be a scary experience. If you’re scared that your accounts might be accessed by the use of important personal information in your stolen wallet, simply freeze your accounts so no one can withdraw money without your consent. Once you discover that you’ve lost your wallet, give your bank companies a call to inform them of your loss.

 

  • No to passwords, yes to passphrase.

Some of us use easily remembered passwords for our financial accounts. This may be convenient for us but this also increases risks of your account being accessed by cunning thieves. Some of us are even guilty of using one password for all of our online accounts. This should not be the case. Hackers of today are pretty smart when it comes to guessing account passwords. To avoid being a victim of these hackers, instead of using a password for your bank accounts, use a passphrase instead. These are a little more complex and harder to crack.

 

  • Be smart when banking on mobile.

Mobile banking is possible with the help of banking apps. When accessing your banking account on mobile, be careful not to use public wi-fi networks. It’s better to turn off your wi-fi when mobile banking to prevent hackers from using your account to withdraw money.

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