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How to prevent cybercriminals from stealing your money

Woman shopping online with credit card

The internet has made it easy to manage our money and buy whatever we want right from our phones and laptops. But when you're shopping online or checking your bank account on the go, how do you make sure it's safe?

At Asurion, we teach people how to make sense of their tech—from what is a data breach to whether your iPhone® can get a virus. Here's our guide to how to prevent cybercriminals from stealing your money.

Protect your passwords

Passwords are meant to be secret and hard to crack—whether it's for your Wi-Fi network, online banking account, or your favorite place to buy sweaters online. If you have a strong password, it will be much harder for hackers and data thieves to steal your money.

To learn more, check out our guides to how to create a strong password and how to use a password manager.

Use two-factor authentication

If you're a frequent online shopper, you might have an online account to stay on top of sales and help rack up loyalty points. You'll also want to use two-factor authentication. It's a security tool that asks you to take an extra step—usually entering a code sent to your phone or email—to confirm your identity when you log in. This will help keep your account more secure.

Use credit cards when you can

Using a credit card instead of a debit card gives you more wiggle room if you notice suspicious charges. If a cybercriminal gets ahold of your debit card, they'll take the money right out of your checking account, and you can't get it back. But if they rack up charges on your credit card, you can freeze your account and the card company will give you a refund for everything you didn't buy.

Get identity protection

This feature is built into most credit card accounts. It's a service that monitors your credit, sends you alerts if someone uses or posts your personal information on the dark web, and explains what you should do if you're a target or victim of cybercrime.

Learn to spot phishing scams

Phishing is a technique used by cybercriminals to steal your money or personal information. It comes in many forms: phone calls, texts, social media messages, and email. The goal is usually to scare or trick you into either clicking on a link or downloading a file that gives them access to your data.

Spotting these scams can be tricky, but here are a few obvious signs:

  • They aim to scare you with the subject line.
  • They use a fake email address to try to trick you into thinking they're a friend, relative, or legitimate company.
  • They ask for your personal information.
  • They don't use your name and instead refer to you as “Dear Customer” or “Dear Member.”
  • They use incorrect grammar.
  • They send you an attachment or link to click on.

These scams are only dangerous if you respond with sensitive information, click on a link, or open an attachment. To be safe, report and block any strange messages you get.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi—like the internet at airports and coffee shops—is convenient. But it's not very secure, so you should avoid online shopping or checking your banking or credit card accounts until you get home.

If you have to make any sort of financial transaction on public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN). It's a tool that hides your identity, location, and browsing history from any cybercriminals who may be lurking around.

Only trust secure websites

Some websites are safer than others, so before you buy anything online check the link of the webpage to make sure it starts with “https”—that tells you the page has an added layer of protection.

Tech is expensive. Protect it all.

Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan. With Asurion Home+®, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 live support for your tech care needs—for less than $1 per day. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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