Have you been protecting your finances from cyber criminals? The real question is do you have access to the extra layers of protection, such as secondary passwords or security questions that many financial institutions utilize? Most people have heard about the basics of online security. Much of what a consumer knows just boils down to avoiding entering financial information on a public computer and using different passwords for multiple websites. But is that enough? Cyber criminals are pretty sophisticated these days. You never know if someone is sitting next to you, looking over your shoulder, while you are casually paying your bills online. In this day of social networking, it pays to be hypervigilant. You never know if someone is posing as your friend, but instead is an imposter especially if the message looks like it came from your friend’s profile. Take a good look to see whether any part of the message raises a red flag. In this day and age, especially when economic times are so tough and people are desperate to make ends meet, it is very important to pay attention and make sure your transactions are confidential and secure. In the event you have found yourself requiring emergency cash to pay a stack of bills that you did not expect, make sure you complete your transaction for an online Florida payday loan with a lender whose website is secure. Then you can enter your information for a fast payday loan and feel confident that no details of your loan application will be hacked. It is also important to keep your software up-to-date because experts say that this can be a vital part of protecting yourself online. Most experts tell you not only to make sure that you have the latest version of an anti-virus program, but that you also keep your computer’s operating system and the programs that run on your computer up-to-date. One of the ways of accomplishing this is to safely update your PC through the Windows or Microsoft Update that has already been preinstalled on your computer. Just follow the prompts. When you click on a new website, take a minute to scan the site’s URL which you will find in a bar at the top of your Internet browser. The URL is the address of the website, so look for typos or anything else that appears to be unusual. You will see the usual “http” prior to the URL address. If you are involved in a transaction that requires putting in sensitive information, make sure to look for the little “s” that tells you the site is secure. If you need to apply for a loan, always look for the “https” at the top of the webpage. It’s a good way to keep from having your information stolen. And here’s something else that comes with the new wave of technology. Experts say that Smartphone users who want to use mobile banking should use apps from their financial institutions to ensure that there are privacy protections in place. There are other experts who advise consumers not to use mobile banking until there are better security protections in place such as better anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Still another thought about network security. Avoid using a cellphone to connect to your financial institution and play it safe. Experts have warned that many of those apps you have loaded continue to run even when you exit them. That could mean that users are at risk for theft of vital information.