Cybersecurity Best Practices for Young Professionals

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cybersecurity best practices for young professionals

There are no shortages of risks facing young professionals in today’s day and age. From investment risks, like stock market crashes and to runaway inflation, to risks associated with our health like disability and premature death, the threats are endless and in today’s world we can now add another to the list: the risk of cybercrimes.

Like any type of insurance or hedge against certain risks there is—in most cases—no way to completely alleviate the risk. Rather, it’s important to consider the risk and determine whether or not it is cost effective to outsource the risk (i.e., outsource the risk of disability to insurance company by buying a disability insurance policy). The same applies when considering ways to protect one’s financial life from cyberattacks.

In today’s world existing outside of the online world is becoming increasingly more difficult, as virtually every facet of a young professional’s life, from banking to medical records, is accessed from an online resource. What follows is a breakdown of four important steps that young professionals can take to help protect against the threat of cybercrimes and other forms of identity theft.

  1. Be Diligent About Passwords: It’s remarkable to think that the number one password according to a 2015 annual ranking is still “123456.” Try a random password generator to enhance yours today and be sure to get in the habit of changing them at least once or twice a year. It goes without saying, but be sure to avoid using the same password for everything. Your email should be especially unique given that that is usually the central hub for resetting all online accounts.
  2. 2-Factor Authentication: If you don’t already have 2-factor authentication set up on all of your financial accounts now is the time. 2-factor authentication adds a layer of security to your accounts by ensuring potential hackers need more than just your password. Instead they need a second form of authentication. Learn if your accounts have 2-factor authentication here.
  3. Have Alerts Proactively Setup: Be sure to have alerts set up on your bank and credit card accounts to send you text, app, or email notifications immediately for all large purchases (i.e. $500+). This can help ensure you are notified immediately if someone has gained access to your card or accounts and is kicking off a shopping spree.
  4. Password Managers: Having trouble remembering all those passwords? Which has likely caused you to use the same password for everything? If so, it might be time to enlist a password manager, which can be a powerful tool in fighting fraud as they will allow you to generate, store, and implement incredibly strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts. Check out the top password managers of 2017 here.
  5. Be Careful What You Send in Email: Be sure not to send sensitive information in emails, such as social security numbers or even passwords to other accounts.
  6. Set-Up Touch ID: If you’re doing a good job of making your passwords remarkably strong and unique then it can sometimes be a pain to log into various apps on your phone given the potential length and variety of characters. Not to fear, however, as many apps are increasingly leveraging fingerprint ID functionality in phones to allow you to login simply with the touch of your finger.

 

 

About Matt Cosgriff, CFP(®)

Minneapolis Financial Planner | Intrapreneur | Young Professional | Millennial Guru | Tech Aficionado | Traveler | Food Lover | Minnesota Wild Fan | Movie Quoter | Follow on Twitter| LinkedIn

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