If you’re using your bank account the same way you did five, ten, or even twenty years ago, you’re missing out…
…and probably doing some pretty unsafe things.
Not only has banking changed dramatically in the last decade, it’s arguably changed more so than any other industry in recent years
Here are four mistakes you’re probably making with your banking.
The first sin and mistake of many is: not checking your balance everyday
It’s not obsessive to check your balance each day. It’s responsible.
You’ll be less likely to overspend and more likely to spot any unusual activity. Though banking sites are extremely secure, there are, unfortunately, other ways to get your information.
If you’ve ever given your checking information on an unsecured website, for example, or a company you routinely work with is hacked, your information may be available via the darknet.
1 out of 15 people are victims of identity theft each year, and of those victims 1 out of 5 will be victimized again.
Check your balance every day to make sure you are not another statistic. Make it easier to do by installing a smartphone app for your Android or Apple phone.
The second egregious mistake many make is still thinking they have to pay monthly fees for the bank’s services
With so many banking options these days, there’s no reason to pay monthly fees — whether you’re 18 or 80.
If your bank is charging you a monthly fee for the privilege of using their services, look elsewhere.
If you’re not careful, monthly fees can cause you to overdraft which will then lead you to another wave of fees.
Just because something has always been that way doesn’t mean it has to continue to be. Find a bank that is with the times and that doesn’t charge you a monthly fee.
Less of a mistake and more an intentional negligence you really can’t afford to continue – not using a savings account
There are many reasons to use a savings account. For one, they earn interest. If you’re keeping everything in your checking account, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Your money could be quietly working for you while you’re living your life.
Secondly, a savings account can help you manage your spending habits. Keep only what you need in your checking account, and you’ll be less likely to overspend. Doing this can also help you save for retirement, which isn’t that far away, despite what you may think.
If you’re not using a savings account, odds are good your budgeting could use a little TLC as well. Here’s how you can get your budget whipped into tip top shape.
Here’s one that needs it’s own category – not trusting or using remote deposit and mobile/online banking
Believe it or not, even though many people are growing more comfortable with mobile banking, a lot of people are still fearful of it.
They’re afraid their account is going to get hacked and that all of their funds and banking information will be stolen.
However, mobile banking is incredibly secure and convenient.
Unless, of course, you’re making the following 21st century mistakes.
STOP storing passwords on your computer
Pen and paper is what you need.
Don’t let Google save your passwords, and don’t for any reason save them in a word document (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other). To date, no hacker has been able to hack a notebook (that we know of).
START using a VPN
Most people use VPNs when they are in a public space, but there’s no reason not to use one when you’re home, too.
VPN stands for virtual private network. It protects your IP and blocks your activity from being seen by either hackers or your ISP. VPNs don’t protect you from viruses or malware (which can also be used to steal your financial information), so you’ll still need antivirus protection on your computer.
VPNs are essential if you do any kind of online banking or trading. You should always use one while on a public network, but it’s also a good idea to use one when you’re home.
NEVER use the same password twice & use strong passwords
Don’t use the same password for every account. In fact, don’t even use it more than once.
Don’t use passwords related to your personal life— meaning your date of birth, your spouse’s name, the date you got married, your address, or child’s middle name. All of that information is easily obtainable online. If for some reason it isn’t, people you know may still use it against you (which sadly happens far too often).
Lastly, mix up your passwords. Add special characters, upper case letters, and numbers. Be completely random.
Be proactive and sign up for fraud alerts and identity protection
Fraud alerts are notices put on your credit reports that notify lenders that you may be a victim of fraud.
It makes lenders go the extra mile to determine that it’s actually you who is requesting the line of credit.
Identify protection service providers monitor your credit reports, credit scores, public records, credit applications and also scan dark web websites to make sure your identity is not being stolen.
They constantly check all of these so they are able to alert you the moment suspicious activity is spotted.
The Key to financial safety is vigilance
Hackers don’t need to be near you to steal your information. In fact, they can be on the other side of the planet.
To protect yourself, be proactive by using a variety of methods to make sure your information stays safe.
You may also like:
Introduction to investing
By doing this one thing, by the time you turn 65, you would have a nest egg in excess of $850,000.
How to get out of debt and start saving for the future – even if you can’t afford it.
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