5 Quick Steps to Prevent Becoming a Cybercrime Victim

In an increasingly digital world, it's more important than ever to make sure you're protected from cybersecurity attacks. It only takes one security breach for hackers to inflict damage on your online and offline life. These five tips can help you make sure you are doing what it takes to fend off fraud.


Use Multi-Factor Authentication

One of the most effective ways to protect online accounts is through the use of multi-factor authentication. Sometimes called two-factor authentication, this security setting uses a secondary piece of information — often a code generated by an app or sent to your phone — alongside your password. This makes it more difficult for someone to access your account, even if they have your password.


Use a Password Manager

A password is only as good as it is strong and unique. An ideal password contains a mixture of characters and symbols and is only used for one site. For example, a password for a social media account should never be the same as the one used for your online banking. Many password managers can create strong passwords on your behalf and store them securely — meaning you won't have to struggle to remember how to access all of your online accounts.


Learn How to Spot Phishing Attacks

Clicking links too quickly is a bad habit that many people need to break. In some instances, links can be the gateway to phishing attacks designed to harvest your information. While they might look legitimate at first glance, phishing attacks are designed to harvest sensitive information.

Signs that a link is part of a phishing attack include misspellings, strange message formatting and an email address that doesn't match the sender's purported identity. If you aren't certain that an email is safe, it's best to avoid opening it.


Update All Apps and Devices

While they might seem inconvenient, updates to your hardware and software are important to install. Developers and hardware makers are constantly identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in their products to make them more secure and safer for you to use. Whether it's a smart lightbulb in your home, an operating system on your computer or an app on your phone, consistently updating is a key part of staying secure online.


Minimize Your Digital Footprint

Keeping old, unused social media accounts activated can make you vulnerable to attacks. Hackers often use data breaches on a person's inactive social media accounts to gain information that can get them into other important ones. Deactivating your old accounts can reduce the amount of information about you on the internet and decrease the likelihood that they can be used for an attack.

This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and friends of City National Bank (City National). City National does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of City National. Please cite source when quoting.