Boost your financial security in three easy steps

Account security is once again in the news, and as always, that’s never a good sign. This time it’s the revelation that as many as 500 million Yahoo accounts have been compromised thanks to a massive data hack that may be the largest information security breach of all time.

While you may not be overly concerned about the sanctity of your Yahoo account, the repercussions could be major. Included in the theft were names, passwords, birthdates, and even personal security questions and answers. In other words, they stole information that could easily be used to access additional accounts.

These major data breaches are always a good time to remind folks just how important it is to keep your information safe. Whether or not you’ve ever had a Yahoo account, consider taking a few simple measures to increase your personal information security.

Have you changed your password recently?

It’s a pain and no likes to do it, but changing your password regularly can make all the difference, especially if you have the unfortunate habit of using the same password across multiple accounts. If you’ve been meaning to do it, wait no longer – create those new passwords today.

Consider where you’re logging in

Free or public WiFi can be a godsend, but be careful – the internet connection available at Starbucks or your local library often isn’t secured in the same manner as your home internet. This means that you should avoid transmitting sensitive information (including credit card numbers, passwords, and personal ID info) while using an unsecured internet connection. Save it for when you get back home or have access to a secured connection.

Read your monthly statements

If your personal information has been compromised, one of the first warning signs will likely be strange activity on your various financial accounts. That’s why it’s important that you closely monitor your accounts – your bank accounts, as well as any credit accounts you may have.

Read your statements each month. If available, consider downloading your financial institutions mobile app, so you can review your account activity whenever you like. Don’t assume everything is okay just because nothing bad has happened. Stay sharp and pay attention. The sooner you realize that something is wrong, the easier it will be for you to get it fixed.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, focused on creating and delivering valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

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