10 Tips To Protect You And Your Money From Fraud

Posted on February 15, 2023

Not enough companies are entirely on top of fraud controls, payment security or cyber security. KPMG's 2022 fraud outlook found as many as 71% of reported that their companies uncovered fraud over the past 12 months. 

As more and more of the world goes online, embraces technology, and moves toward digital payments, the importance of protecting your money, personal bank information, and payment security is vital. Fraud prevention has stepped into the forefront for everyone. Keeping up to date with security trends and knowing how to protect yourself is critical. 

How To Protect Your Money: 10 Tips To Prevent Fraud 

Companies are vulnerable to a wide range of fraudsters and scammers. Fraudsters and scammers continue to exist because they are good at what they do. They can be convincing, and their scare tactics and sales tricks work.

While it can be overwhelming to think of all the ways you could be at risk. Here are 10 simple steps to do now, and keep in mind always whenever you're on and offline. 

1. Passwords

Make them strong, change them up, and avoid using the same ones repeatedly. The strength of your passwords is your first line of defence against fraud. 

Every website, bank login, e-commerce site, email, social account, or Netflix login should have a strong and unique password. If it's easy to remember, it could be just as easy to steal. The same goes for your security questions. If the name of your first pet is all over your publicly accessible social media networks, for example, it shouldn't be a security answer. Consider using an application such as LastPass, which generates and saves complicated, lengthy and secure passwords. If you're using a password management system, create a secure password for your account and log out after every use on your devices.   

2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Identity Verification

MFA has become widespread as more and more online platforms, websites, and services enforce multi-factor authentication and identity verification before payments and logins can be completed. Beyond securing your login information, consider setting up two-step authorization wherever possible. This is an essential layer of defence, especially for any and all digital payments. Devices with fingerprint and facial recognition entry points are another excellent way to protect yourself against fraud.  

3. Keeping Payment Methods Secure 

If paper cheques are your main go-to, you might want to reconsider. Cheques are one of the most common forms of financial fraud. They can easily fall victim to mail theft, counterfeits and falsification. Unfortunately, it is more complicated and takes more time to be notified when a cheque is fraudulent, making it unlikely to recoup any loss. Not to mention your personal bank account information listed at the bottom, your name and address at the top, and your signature. This is everything that a fraudster needs to steal your identity. Wire transfers and pre-paid cards pose a greater risk as getting your money back if intercepted is hard. On the other hand, credit cards, debit cards, and digitized payments have built-in fraud protection to keep your payments secure. 

4. Increase Payment Security With Tokenized Digital Payments 

Many websites and platforms are turning to tokenized systems for extra security and less risk. Tokens are algorithmically created numbers that represent your personal bank information. This means that your actual account information is never shared, transferred, or stored during online shopping or digital payments. For example, VoPay uses tokenization to secure all digital payments—from online shopping to paying bills and transferring money online. 

5. Secure Devices With Up-To-Date Security Software

Your desktop, laptop, and mobile phones should all be protected by up-to-date popup blockers, security software, and malware detectors. Ensure that you are protected wherever you browse, click, shop, or make payments online.

6. Protect Your Information and Be Mindful About Who You Share It With 

Your personal information should be protected and treated with the utmost care at all times. Never share your social insurance number (SIN) (except with your employer or the government). Be careful of who has access to your personal bank information. In the wrong hands, personal identifiers such as your name, address, birth date, SIN, and bank information can lead to identity theft and fraud. Scammers could open bank accounts, make online purchases, draw money from accounts, apply for mortgages, jobs, and so on. Ensure you know who you're giving information to—and why. 

7. Spammers Get Sophisticated, Trust Your Gut 

Follow your instincts when it comes to spam. These last few years have seen scammers and fraudsters become quite clever and very persistent in their ways. Phone calls and emails appearing to be from governments, police, and even from company CEO's. At a quick glance, they appear to be the real deal. Dig a little deeper. Ask questions and look for telltale signs like email addresses, misspellings, or the request for personal information. If something seems phishy, it very well could be. Follow your instincts with threatening calls and suspicious websites. Hang up and call the official number of said service back. Wait for an official letter in the mail. Always initiate contact with official services such as banks, employers, and governments. They will never call or email you if it is important. When in doubt, call the official number back, not a number given by a caller or emailer. Contact your bank or the government if you suspect your accounts or identity have been compromised.

8. Practice Safe Online Browsing

Technology is having a moment. New AI tools such as ChatGPT have their own considerations to pay attention to. Having security software working in the back end to protect you is crucial. However, do your part to practice safe online browsing. Never click unknown popups, suspicious ads, links, chats, emails, prizes, videos, downloads, etc. If you do, immediately close the link and do not fill out forms or share personal information.

9. Avoid Clicking Unknown Links, Emails, Popups, and Downloads

The same goes for official emails and services. Never click through to a link. Go to the official website, platform, or service page. Never open unknown emails. Never click on links within emails or websites before checking them first. The URL will appear below if you hover over the link without clicking on it. Ensure that it is the correct link before clicking on it. 

10. Maximize Payment Security 

With VoPay Risk Intelligence, our solution proactively prevents payment fraud, eliminates chargebacks and automatically accepts more payments. Whether you are looking for payment security or data privacy, we have you covered. With VoPay's iQ11 solution, all transactions sit at bank-level security. Furthermore, all bank account information and financial data are instantly verified and validated at the time of each transaction. 

Want to learn more about payment security? Contact a fintech specialist today! 

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