Identity theft has been on the rise the past few years with the spread of technology and banks setting up budgeting and billing accounts online. While this process is meant to save you time and hassle, hackers have found ways to bypass security and steal important account information to get to your funds. Here are ways to pay bills online securely:
1. Never give out your password or account information to anyone. This may seem obvious, but many people end up being duped by friends and family members and end up victims of identity theft or monetary theft.
2. Be aware of point to point encryption pages. Never click on a link within an email to get to a financial page. Many viruses designed to gather information use encryption methods to steal information from computers.
3. Never sign up for new companies’ cards. Use safe methods, such as a bank card or a prepaid credit card. Reach cards are prepaid Visa cards that use direct deposit. Assume that most mail requesting updated information is a scam. Many banks will reach you directly for updates on information.
4. Use your own computer to pay bills online. This is another seemingly obvious tip, but never use a public access computer (e.g., libraries or schools) to pay bills. Many times your information will be pulled up in a browser’s cookies without your knowledge.
5. Scan your computer often for viruses. Keep your computer’s security updated and top-notch to avoid theft.