You’ve worked hard for your retirement savings. You’ve set aside money on a regular basis and strategized to access the right funds with the right risk tolerance. As a result, you’ve watched your savings grow and it should be there when you need it. Here’s how to be sure that your accounts are safe from hackers who have recently been working to gain unauthorized access to private retirement fund accounts.

The scope of the problem

The security of sensitive data is more at risk now than at any time in the previous decade. Recent cybersecurity breaches have made personal information such as social security numbers, passwords, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, and addresses available to hackers. Breaches include the Equifax hack in 2017 where more than 143 million users had their personal information exposed. The eBay user hack in 2014 and the Yahoo hack in 2013 also exposed personal data of millions of customers.

While online criminals are eager to request fraudulent account disbursements, brokerages houses are working to address the issue and maintain their reputation for safety. However, security doesn’t have to stop there. Individual investors can also take steps to keep their accounts whole.

What you can do

There are basic things that everyone can do to protect themselves. Start by authorizing multi-step verification processes for account transfers so that requesting a withdrawal is more difficult. Also, use passwords with the right level of complexity and change them regularly. In addition, be sure to avoid using unfamiliar WiFi networks when reviewing your plan information or sending financial information online.

Once you’ve taken these steps, continue to monitor your accounts on a regular basis so that you’ll know as quickly as possible if something is wrong. Hopefully, though, you’ll never have an issue. These basic but important steps can be sure that your retirement funds are available for you — not a thief on the internet who hasn’t earned them.