The Internet is a Dangerous Place

The Internet is a Dangerous Place

You know it and I know it. The Internet is a dangerous place. It can help us do wonderful things not imagined a generation ago. But with the internet rewards come risk and that risk is getting worse.

A decade ago, it was an email from a widow in Africa asking you to help process her inheritance if you would only help transfer the money through your bank account so please send her the details and your get 10% of the transfer. Ha ha ha we thought and we didn’t fall for that silly trap.

Next came the email to grandma from the alleged grandkid overseas who was stuck in jail and needed bail money. Only a few of us fell for that one.

Fast forward to today. A really genuine looking email from your custodian asks you to log in again as someone has failed to log in and we want to make sure it is you. Only the website you go to while looking real, is a sophisticated fake. Hundreds fall for this scheme.

Then your four-year- old seems to be opening credit card accounts. No one is doing an annual credit report to find accounts open in their name. You do check your own credit report for new accounts, but have no idea the bad guys are using kid numbers to open accounts and bilk merchants.

Passwords are easy to crack for most of us. My most used password is something like 4Chair321. It worked in the past, but the bad guys can use a computer program that cracks it in less than an hour. I think my new password will be something like: “gm^tZ4Bf90”.

Most important of all, in my opinion, is two step verification of your email account(s). Why? Well, when you go to change a password on a website where do they send the link to update your password? Your email, right? Having a smartphone that received text messages with a further string of numbers to insert, will help thwart the bad guys breaking into your email account.

Most banks and other financial institutions have two-step authentication or they might call it two-step verification. You can Google the company’s name and “two step authentication” to take you right to the part of their website for implementation instructions. Also, search on YouTube for the same topic. Plenty of videos on how to use two step.

In addition, you might want to look into Google Authenticator as another way to implement two-step verification. Just Google it.

Please implement 2-step verification now for your email and investment accounts. Keep the bad guys at bay.

Jim Ludwick
Jim Ludwick

Jim Ludwick is the founder of MainStreet Financial Planning. His varied education and life experiences have enabled him to apply his knowledge and experience into useful solutions for personal financial problems. His writing and broadcasting activities allow him to help many more than just individual clients. He loves a microphone.

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