So many of us are focused on how we can make the maximum amount of money possible. While this is important, learning how to protect your money is equally as critical. There are many different threats and risks out there that you need to be aware of, such as fraud, identity theft, stolen bank cards, and hackers. Thankfully, there are a variety of measures you can take to help protect your money.
- Fraud: Fraud is a major risk that you need to be aware of. Fraud simply means somebody attempting to deceive you or someone else for either personal or financial gain. An example of this are the spam calls that all of us have been getting about your car’s extended warranty expiring. In this example, the scammer is attempting to deceive you into giving them your credit card or bank account information to then steal your money.
- Identity Theft: Identity theft, although it is a form of fraud, is an extremely dangerous risk to your money. Identity theft is where somebody attempts to steal your identity, usually by obtaining your social security number and other important personal information. In some cases they even use digital synthetic identities that are so realistic most fraud detection services are fooled. They then use your identity to open up new credit cards or bank accounts, among other things. The risk of this is that, as the account is tied to your identity, any debt can potentially be your responsibility and severely impact your credit score.
- Stolen Bank Cards: Most people, at least once in their life, have checked their bank accounts to see a bunch of charges they didn’t make. Usually, this happens through somebody illegally obtaining your debit or credit card, whether it’s through theft or you simply misplacing your wallet.
- Hacking: Another common risk you need to be aware of when learning how to protect your money is a hacker gaining access to your bank accounts. This can happen either through hacking the bank directly (which is extremely difficult, as banks and other financial institutions have a ton of safeguards in place) or by hacking either your phone, app, or username and password.
Best Practices: How to Protect Your Money
Now that we’ve shared a few common risks that you should be aware of, we’d like to give you a few basic, simple best practices that will help you protect your money. You might already be aware of some of these, but they are all important when thinking about how to protect your money.
Check Your Accounts Often
One of the easiest things you can do to protect your money is to check your checking, savings, and credit card accounts daily. Although it might sound a little extreme, taking the 5 minutes to briefly check your accounts allows you to stay on top of any potentially fraudulent transactions.
Monitor your Credit
There are many sources available to monitor your credit and even get notified if your credit is being checked or a new account is being opened in your name.
Lock your credit file when you are not applying for new credit. This can be a simple way to protect your identity and restrict fraudsters from impersonating you even if they gained access to your personal data. In order to lock your credit file, you will need to contact each of the following three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Do Research on Your Bank
One of the most important steps you can take in learning how to protect your money is to thoroughly research your current and/or future banks. You will want to make sure your bank is FDIC-insured, which protects your money up to $250,000 per account. Another crucial thing to research is whether or not your bank has good customer service. Lastly, you’ll want to learn about any potential missteps that your bank has had in the past, such as the Wells Fargo scandal a decade ago, where employees were fraudulently opening new accounts without customer awareness.
Don’t Share Your Bank Info With Anyone
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually one of the most common ways to have your identity or money stolen. Unless you are calling your bank directly, under no circumstances should you share your bank account information with anybody, even if they seem legitimate.
Use Strong Passwords & Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Strong passwords and MFA can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. By having long, complex passwords that you change frequently, you reduce the risk of somebody or a computer program guessing your password. Multi-factor authentication is another way to keep your accounts safe. MFA uses 2+ checks to confirm your identity, such as entering a password and then inputting a numerical code texted to your phone number.
Be Sure You’re Using Secure Devices & Networks
You should only log in to your financial information from a secure, personal device and secure (password-protected) wifi network. It’s much easier for hackers to gain access to your data if you are using an unsecured, public device or wifi network. In a perfect world, you’d have a dedicated computer to access your finances, but this obviously is not realistic for most.
Protect Your Money w/ Marygold & Co.
Marygold & Co. is a new financial services app that’s dedicated to helping organize your financial life and reach your financial goals.
Not only is it revolutionizing budgeting and expense tracking through a new feature called Money Pools, but Marygold & Co. is extremely concerned with safety and security. That’s why we employ state-of-the-art technology like biometrics with facial authentication to determine if a government-issued identification is authentic and a selfie of a live person matches the picture on the ID. This is highly effective because fraudsters don’t like to have their real picture taken and faking a real face is not an easy task.
Other security measures like multifactor authentication and fingerprint credentials offer additional layers of protection once an account is opened.
You shouldn’t entrust your hard-earned money to just anybody, and Marygold & Co. will not only help protect your money but it gives you all the tools needed to push towards your financial goals.