Editor's note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Contrary to what it sounds like, cloud computing does not involve weather. But it could involve some risks to your finances. I'm Claes Bell with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
Cloud computing is when an individual or company uses computer services provided over the Internet. Such services can save businesses and consumers money, but they can also cause big problems when those providers get hacked.
That's because hackers often go after customer logins and payment information for debit and credit cards, using them to make fraudulent purchases or write convincing fraudulent emails to get even more information.
While the burden of cloud security falls mostly on vendors, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. Avoid using the same login and password for financial sites than you do for retailers or social media sites. That way, if one of your passwords is compromised in a hacking incident, it won't endanger all your accounts.
Also, exercise good computer hygiene by keeping antivirus software on your computer up to date.
For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit Bankrate.com. I'm Claes Bell.