Where is a good place to store financial data? How do I make sure it is secure?
The best place to store it is in your head.
I think we should analyze this question from the second part. Usernames and passwords are not secure anymore. This is for many reasons – one popular one includes where users will use the same password across many sites/services.
The solution is what is called “2 factor authentication”.
2 factor authentication is usually referred as something you know (password or pin) with something you have (such as a code generator or SMS with the code). The code is usually a generated code that changes every 30 seconds. This makes your accounts much more secure by essentially making it so that if a bad guy knows what your password is – then they only have “half” of your password. This should not be a way for you to think password reuse is ok – only because not every service or site supports 2FA. This does add a bit of hassle when logging into your account and many people don’t like it – but it serves a very important purpose: to verify that it is YOU that is trying to log into the account and not a bad guy.
Some services that support 2FA:
– Linux/Windows/Mac OS (unofficially)
If you have an account at any of those services then I recommend you set up 2FA authentication immediately. At the very least set it up on accounts such as paypal and USAA – otherwise you are holding up a large neon sign and begging a bad guy to drain your account and steal all your money.
In another post we will go through different 2FA applications and the pros/cons of each.
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