7 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Money

With scams on the rise, it is important to know how you can protect yourself. Here are seven simple things you can do to safeguard your money and avoid fraud!

1. Use a different password for each account. Make your passwords strong by using passphrases (a sequence of random words), as well as a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. 
2. Choose Two-Factor Authentication. In addition to your password, you are prompted to enter a PIN, a code sent to your phone, or a fingerprint. It is an extra step but provides an added layer of security.
3. Sign-up for Informed Delivery®. This is a free service offered by United States Postal Service that e-mails you images of incoming mail and provides status updates on packages. If a piece of mail or a package goes missing, you will be aware and can address it right away.
4. Use a shredder. Bank statements, bills, and addressed envelopes are just some examples of items that contain personal information that a scammer would like to have. Use a shredder before those items make it to your trash or recycling bin to help keep your information from getting out there.
5. Mark suspicious emails as spam. Be cautious of emails that contain typos, have unfamiliar links, try to lure you in with winnings, or offer to protect you from imminent danger. Be wary of emails that pose as a government agency and request personal information. By marking suspicious emails as spam, you can block them from reaching your inbox in the future and avoid being phished for personal information.
6. Screen your calls. Add your contacts to your phone, so their name appears when they call. Screen the rest of your calls by allowing them to go to your voice mail or decline the call on your phone. Screening your calls allows you to avoid pushy scammers who may try to pressure you into giving out personal information.
7. Take extra care in who you share your account information with. Your financial institution will never initiate a call, email, or text that asks for your card number, online credentials, social security number, or your account number. If you have any doubts about a communication you receive, contact the financial institution directly with a phone number you know is legitimate.

Scammers are pushy and want people to make an emotional and fast decision. Putting barriers in place can help protect you from fraud, but it is important to also never let a stranger force you into making a quick decision. Make sure you are calm and can make clear and reasonable decisions when it comes to your personal and financial information.

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(March 2023)