With the rise in fraud, many retailers online are taking extra precautions- as they should. There are some ways you can build on this higher baseline to help keep your money in your own hands in a busy day-to-day.

  1. Turn on Multi Factor Authentication: Multi Factor Authentication (most commonly 2-factor) is a way of checking the user’s identity by requiring they retrieve information from multiple places that should be accessible only to the real account holder. For instance, making a purchase from Amazon might require not just your password, but a one-time code transmitted to your phone when you attempt to finalize the purchase. This can be an added inconvenience, as with any extra complexity, but it is a reliable, powerful, and functional way to keep your money in your account.
  2. Use Strong Passwords: The current wisdom on password creation is that it’s often preferable to use a phrase rather than the more traditional short word. Using a long phrase, even if it uses only letters, can make it harder to crack an account just by virtue of opening up too many possibilities for a computer to run through in a reasonable time. Or better yet, use a password management service like LastPass and use impossible-to-guess passwords that are used automatically.
  3. Turn on Account Notifications: It might be a pain, or cost a dollar here and there, but it’s good practice to have any accounts you create inform you of any changes. It can be the difference between an annoying afternoon and months of tracking down stolen money. Receiving notice when someone else logs into or tries to use your account lets you respond immediately, often before any fraud can be committed.

You can’t spend all day scared that something might happen, and proper planning and setup can ensure that you’re at least informed before things have a chance to go wrong.