How to Stay Safe Online So That Your Money and Data Are Protected

A person tries to hack a person's laptop in this photo illustration.
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The coming of a new year signifies a chance for all of us to take charge of our finances with renewed vigor. And in a world where we spend a good part of our time online, we also want to be smart when it comes to internet safety.

To help you achieve a state of internet bliss, we’ve gathered our top articles to keep you safe online. From managing your passwords to securely surfing the web, we’ve got recommendations and internet safety tips for all. Here’s how to stay safe online in 2023.

Securing Your Passwords

When it comes to internet safety, your passwords are the keys to your digital kingdom. Start by storing your passwords in a secure password manager.

Using a password manager, you can keep your passwords in one safe spot. Check out our favorite password managers to find an option that works for your digital life.

Use a strong password, and avoid any bad password habits (such as using the same password for multiple accounts). Turning on additional security features such as two-factor authentication is highly recommended for sensitive accounts such as your bank account.

And, if you need to share access to passwords with family and friends, be sure to share passwords securely and maintain internet safety.

Secure Logins with Face ID

Passwords are great, but if you have an iPhone or iPad, you may wonder if Face ID is secure enough to access sensitive accounts and maintain a high level of internet safety.

Face ID is Apple’s biometric security solution that uses a 3D model of your face as a password — it is the evolution of Touch ID, which uses fingerprint identification.

Be sure to read our guide on Face ID, in which we discuss how safe the solution is for everyday use, as well as for sensitive financial information such as bank logins.

Surfing the Web Safely

We spend plenty of time online, so ensure you surf with internet safety in mind.

If you commonly use public Wi-Fi or have concerns about others eavesdropping on your internet connection, consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, for a more secure internet connection.

While browsing, it also doesn’t hurt to have a solid understanding of different areas of the web, including those you may want to avoid, such as the dark web.

Online Banking and Finances

Some of the most sensitive activities that we carry out online include online banking and money transfer services. If someone were to gain access to your online bank account, they could cause devastation to your financial assets — a major internet safety issue.

To help ease your concern, we’ve taken a closer look at banking apps to determine whether they are safe to use.

Additionally, if you transfer money from your bank account to others, check out our tips on using Zelle and other payment apps safely and keep online safety in mind.

Personal Information on Google

Google is a powerful search engine, and many of us use it daily. Foraging the web for information, search engines are useful tools that allow us to complete research and find resources easily.

But sometimes you’ll find your personal information showing up in search results (such as your bank account information), which could compromise your personal and internet safety. Listed personal information could also make your data susceptible to online scams.

Don’t let Google be the reason you fall victim to identity theft. Search Google for your name occasionally to see what appears and, if needed, take action to remove personal information from Google searches.

Securing Your Sensitive Documents

We all need to store sensitive information on our computers occasionally. Sensitive documents could be more obvious items such as bank statements and tax return information or merely documents that you find to be personal.

Be sure to safely store important documents on your computer so prying eyes can’t obtain access. Your internet safety extends to ensuring your own devices are secure.

When a Data Breach Occurs

As hard as you may try to keep your online life safe, security faults may occur. If an unauthorized individual gains access to a secure server that stores personal or financial information, it is known as a data breach.

However, you don’t need to panic if a data breach occurs. If you find out that your information has been compromised, take the appropriate actions to secure your information after a data breach.

How you respond to a data breach is crucial to maintaining a high level of internet safety.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer with The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.