Are you ready for a disaster? Having listened to the news of natural disasters in the recent months, I cannot stop thinking about the turbulence that survivors must experience. I am sure that your life should be confusing and traumatic in light of physical and financial loss. Then I started thinking about things that nobody wants to think about and how to protect their finances before disaster strikes. If the disaster is natural that affects the process of protecting your savings or a fire that destroyed a single house, the consequences for the survivors are real and go far beyond visual destruction.
It is important to have a plan that protects you and your family should take a tragedy, and you will not be able to live at home or go to give some time to work. If you had only a few moments of time to leave your home and could not go back for days or even weeks, what would you do and how would you use to access cash, banking information, identification or important information? These are just some tips on how to prepare for a disaster before it is too late.
Determine the most likely hazards and plan accordingly. For example, do you live in a community susceptible to tornadoes, hurricanes, or forest fires? Preparation for any type of disaster may vary, but there are some things everyone should do. Talk to your local emergency management office for tips and recommendations on how to prepare for a disaster.
Regularly check your landlord’s or tenant’s coverage and car insurance. What does your policy really cover? Most policies for homeowners do not cover floods or seismic damage. If you live in an area that is vulnerable to these disasters, you may want to buy a separate policy for this coverage. The goal is to have sufficient coverage to repair the damage to your home, your cars, and other valuable assets and to you and your family when necessary to provide temporary housing.
Keep records of your personal property and include the estimated value. Many insurance agents encourage their clients to take regular video images of their home and store it outside the home if they have to file a lawsuit.
By sending your funds directly to your bank, you can make sure you can quickly access these funds when you need them. Direct deposit also avoids the risk of loss, delay or theft of checks. Consider setting up your computer or smartphone access to your bank accounts so you can manage your accounts online from anywhere without writing checks.
The disaster can affect your ability to work or your income over a period of time. Therefore, a savings account can help you during a difficult economic period without having to borrow or borrow money from your family. Experts suggest that you should have 3 to 5 months in your savings for emergencies. And remember, your money is safer in your FDIC or NCUA insured institution than if it’s hidden under your mattress.
The Internet has simplified so many aspects of life and made many daily transactions instantaneous. It can be easy to take these seemingly small comforts for granted. How many times did you sign up online, log into your online bank account, and immediately transfer money from your savings account to your checking account to squander new clothes or pay for unexpected expenses?
Going to the bank is no longer the duty that it once was. Now the bank comes to you. It is on your laptop and your smartphone and stays open 24 hours, provided you have an Internet connection. From saving trees and customer time to reducing overdrafts and identity theft, online banking has simplified the way most people manage their finances today.
As long as you stay alert and make smart decisions, you can make a great effort to ensure your online safety.
Here are four tips to help protect your money:
Use a secure password with a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters; one that is not easy to guess. Password123, qwerty (among the most common passwords), your name, phone number, address or the names of children and pets are easy to guess. Avoid them and stay safe online. Change your password frequently, and do not save it on paper and never share a password with someone. Use a secure password manager if you tend to forget your password.
If you receive a call from your bank that asks you to provide or confirm the details of your account, make sure it is not fraudulent. You can even receive fraudulent emails requesting such information. Never click on a pre-formulated link to access your bank account, but enter the URL in the browser. If you enabled autocompletion for web forms, you must deactivate them on your bank’s website.
Do not access public, unencrypted Wi-Fi connections to your bank account. Do not log on to public or shared computers on your bank’s website, and always log out when you complete the transaction. If you are forced to use a public connection, change your password as soon as possible from your own device (PC, laptop or smartphone). If possible, use a VPN service to access your account.
Another smart step is to use a separate and dedicated browser to access your online bank account. If you use Chrome or Explorer to navigate in general, use Firefox for your banking transactions.
Most banks offer a two-step verification process, such as One Time Password (OTP) for a more secure online banking. Register to receive notifications of transactions/email alerts from your bank and follow them. Too often, users filter these messages in a separate folder or archive them without reading. Make sure you do not do it. Check your bank statements regularly and contact your bank if something is wrong.
To strengthen your online security, make sure that all your devices are protected against viruses, hackers, and malware. Install antivirus and antimalware software with heuristic capability. Configure firewalls Keep your operating system updated and allow the highest levels of security in your web browsers.…