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Protecting sensitive personal and financial information is more important than ever as identity theft is one the fastest growing crimes in the digital age, we live in. If your personal information gets stolen it can be used fraudulently and have a major impact on your finances. With this information to their disposal fraudsters can take money from your bank account and open accounts in your name.  


How Do Fraudsters Get My Financial Information?

If your purse or wallet is stolen fraudsters can get access to your ID and bank cards. Use your credit and debit cards with care seeing that they can easily be copied. Fraudsters also use telephone calls pretending to be a representative of a genuine business or bank and mislead you into giving them your personal and financial information. Your financial information can also be obtained when your computer or smartphone is hacked. Online scams are also used to get people’s financial information for example by sending an email that appears to be from a trusted company but dupes you into supplying personal and financial information. Your financial information can also be stolen from service providers.  


How Do I Protect My Financial Information?

If you use your computer for business and any financial transactions make sure it is safeguarded. You can do this by installing a firewall and antivirus programmes. Avoid using public computers to access your financial accounts. Always remember to logout from any website or application as soon as you are done with accessing your account. Creating secure usernames, passwords and PIN’s that are not easy to figure out is essential. It is also recommended to not use the same passwords or PIN’s for all your accounts and to change them often. Most financial websites will be secure websites which means they have “https” in their web address. Also, make sure downloads are from trusted sources. Be careful when downloading files or clicking on links. Check your financial statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions and ensure that your financial institutions have your updated contact details. Store your financial records in a safe place and discard of documents containing sensitive information safely.  


What Should I Do If My Financial Information Has Been Compromised?

If you notice unauthorised transactions or any suspicious behaviour on your account, contact your financial institutions immediately and notify them of what has happened. They will assist you in stopping cards and will probably also be able to reverse certain fraudulent transactions.