Cybertheft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States. In 2019, cybercrimes accounted for an estimated $2 trillion in financial losses. These crimes range from large-scale data breaches to fraud and identity theft that impact people on a more personal level. But even though these crimes are becoming more common, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your money. Here are 4 smart ways to monitor your account.
1. Check Your Account Often
Checking your account balances often can help you catch unauthorized purchases and withdrawals before they become a bigger problem. This includes being aware of how much you owe on your credit cards. Identifying fraud early can help you take steps to get your money back or correct credit card balances quickly. Plus, you can quickly make changes to your account to prevent further fraud. You should always have a general idea of how much money you have in your account and how much you owe on your credit card, so you can know when something seems off.
2. Set Account Alerts
Many banks allow you to set account alerts, which send you direct notifications (usually by email or text message) when certain account activities occur. You can set these alerts for changes to your profile or password, when a withdrawal or purchase exceeds a certain limit, or when your account falls below a specific amount. Oftentimes, you can receive these alerts right on your phone through your mobile banking app, so you can take immediate action if someone has gained unauthorized access to your account.
3. Download a Mobile Banking App
The first two tips on this list are made a little easier through your bank or credit card company’s mobile banking app. With a mobile banking app, you have your transaction history, balance information, and account statements right at your fingertips. You can also manage your account notifications and customize alerts, so you can always stay informed about everything that’s going on with your account in one convenient place. Plus, mobile banking apps generally provide a secure, authorized connection to view accounts and conduct financial transactions.
4. Act on Suspicious Activity
If you suspect that your account or credit card has been compromised, contact your bank or credit card company immediately. You can usually find your bank’s phone number on the back of your credit card, on your billing statement, on your bank’s website or on your mobile banking app. Remember, the faster you report suspicious activity, the faster you can get your finances back where they belong. And you’re much less likely to shoulder any of the responsibility for missing money or unauthorized payments.
Cybercrime is a growing concern. But by monitoring your account and staying up to date with your financial situation, you can avoid many of the problems that come with account and credit card fraud.