How to Protect Your Finances From Bad Actors

Now and again, you probably hear stories about people who have had their identities stolen and accounts completely drained. It’s sad to hear about, but most people go on about their lives thinking that sort of thing would never happen to them. The truth of the matter is that anyone can be a target, so everyone needs to take action to protect themselves.

Protect Your Accounts

Start by taking measures to protect your accounts. Both your banking and investment accounts need to be protected. While many accounts at financial institutions are insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC, other financial products and services aren’t. Even so, it’s not wise to rely solely on insurance for protection. You can take measures into your own hands to an extent by protecting your accounts with strong passwords. The more random they are, the better. You may find it beneficial to use a random password generator to help you create a strong password.

Avoid Bad Lending Practices

Scammers, hackers, and identity thieves aren’t the only ones you have to worry about when it comes to protecting your finances. Some lenders engage in bad lending practices that can make life difficult for borrowers. Unusually high interest rates are a sign of predatory lending. Some loans come with prepayment penalties attached to them as well, which can extend the amount of time you spend in debt unnecessarily. Make sure you read and understand all terms and conditions before signing a loan. Take the time to shop around for the best deals too.

Be Stingy with Your Information

Personally identifiable information can be incredibly useful to both people who would use it legally and those who would use it to harm you financially. It’s imperative that you not share this information freely with the world. To do so puts you at much greater risk of having your identity stolen and your financial life destroyed. Don’t give out this information to people calling or emailing you to request such information. When filling out online forms that require personal information, only fill out required fields and make sure the sites are secure, reliable, and trustworthy.

At the end of the day, you can only rely on yourself and the decisions you make to protect your finances from people who would use them for their benefit at your expense. Take steps to protect your accounts, avoid bad lending practices, and be stingy with your personal information. The less information about yourself you put out, the lower your overall risk is.

Read this next: How to Reduce Your Tax Bill Next Year

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