At Simple, we know that security is an alliance between you and us. We do a lot of work behind the scenes to keep your account safe. The steps you take are no less crucial. So, here are some expert tips from our security team that’ll help you keep your Simple account (or any online account) secure.
Things you can do, wherever you go online
Use long, complex passwords
At Simple, we recommend passphrases (a string of words, rather than a single word or a mashup of characters). They’re easy to remember, and the extra length makes them more secure.
Don’t re-use passwords
Never, ever, ever re-use passwords from one account to another. Recently, several large companies have experienced breaches, exposing thousands of passwords. If you re-use one password across sites, and one site experiences a breach, fraudsters can easily gain access to your other accounts.
Use a password manager
Consider a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. These services will generate and store passwords, making it easy to use long, complex, unique passwords or passphrases at every site you visit. Passphrase managers are immensely popular among security professionals, and they’re convenient to use. We love them so much that we became the first banking service to integrate our app with 1Password, making it even easier to use a secure passphrase with Simple.
Update your software
Keep your software up to date. Software updates often patch vulnerabilities or include new security features, so downloading them quickly will help your devices stay secure. An effortless way to stay on top of this is to turn on automatic updates for your operating system, web browsers, and other applications. You can find a step-by-step guide over here.
Try two-factor authentication
Use two-factor authentication for your email, if the service you use supports it. (Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires two types of credentials to access an account: typically something you know, like a password, and something you own, like a phone.) The security of your email is especially important, because if someone else gains access to it, they may be able to get into your other accounts by re-setting your passwords.
Watch out for phishing
Keep an eye out for possible phishing attempts. Phishing is a type of fraud where the attacker impersonates a business or service you use, in order to trick you into revealing sensitive information. They’ll often do this by sending fraudulent emails asking for information, or directing you to a fraudulent site and recording the information you enter. There are a few ways to avoid it: never respond to emails asking for sensitive information, and before logging in to a site, make sure it’s the actual company’s site by checking the domain name and the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. We use an Extended Validation certificate since they’re an extra guarantee that our site is authentic.
Re-image your computer
If you think your computer has been infected with a virus or malware, consider working with a professional to re-image it (by deleting all the software and starting again with a clean slate). Just deleting the malware isn’t enough to get rid of it.
Simple-specific security steps
Each company offers their own mix of security options. If you’re a Simple customer, here are a few extra things that’ll help keep your account secure:
- Keep push notifications turned on, and they’ll instantly alert you if someone makes an unauthorized purchase with your card information.
- You can block your card if it’s lost or you think it might have been compromised.
- We use two-factor authorization for key steps such as re-setting your passphrase, updating your email or phone number, and verifying payment contacts.
At Simple, we care about your security—not just for your Simple account, but for everything you do online. A unified defense is the best way to foil would-be criminals, and these easy, effective precautions will help us do just that. Check out this article for more information about the security of online banks.
Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.