A day does not go by without headlines about financial fraud, whether it's hackers infiltrating businesses' computer networks or other types of identity theft .

While using chip-enabled credit cards and being wary of phishing scams help protect consumers, hackers are becoming more sophisticated.

"Fraudsters have become so good at finding the cracks in the foundation. It's like water finding its way through a crack," says Margaret Paddock, market leader for the Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank in Minneapolis. "I would say the best offense is a good defense, just because we cannot stop all of the fraud."

[See: 10 Warning Signs of Identity Theft .]

Brad Klontz, a Chase financial education partner and associate professor of financial psychology and behavioral finance at Omaha-based Creighton University Heider College of Business, says many proactive steps are simple. But because consumers get bombarded with information, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Here are some tips for investors to protect themselves :

Use a chip-enabled credit card when possible . Chip-enabled credit cards have an added layer of protection, Klontz says, as they generate a unique code for that one purchase, preventing another person from using that information. However, not all retailers accept them – yet.

Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, in Austin, Texas, says it's taken time to roll out the technology since there are so many banks, cards and checkout counters. Citing a survey from the National Retail Federation, Schulz says 86 percent of retailers expect have readers for chip-enabled credit cards running by year's end, but he thinks that figure is optimistic. Some retailers are waiting for their terminals, while others have their terminals but are waiting for the card networks to certify systems as ready to go.

Beware of sending sensitive information over public wifi or email . It's easy to forget that public wifi isn't secure, so don't give out credit or debit card numbers or other private information over a public wifi, Klontz says. When using public wifi, ensure that the site has an "https" designation – that added "s" the end is the highest level of internet security, he says. Also, Schulz says a financial institution will never ask clients for their passwords, ATM pin numbers or other sensitive data via email.

Switch to electronic delivery of documents and check online accounts frequently . Paper documents can get intercepted, Klontz says. Signing up for online access to statements eliminates that risk, and it allows users to monitor their account more frequently to catch any suspicious activity. Mobile apps provided by the financial institution are also safe, he says.

Check credit card and bank accounts once a week, Schulz says. "We think that once a week sounds like a lot, but we don't think anything going to Facebook (ticker: FB ), Twitter ( TWTR ) or Instagram a dozen times a day," he says.

While online, sign up for fraud alerts from financial institutions, Klontz says, which can be set to alert users when purchases are over a certain amount. It will also pick up any unusual activity on the account.

[See: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud .]

For these sensitive sites, come up with more complex password and vary them, Schulz says. "If you have a Wells Fargo ( WFC ) checking account and a Bank of America ( BAC ) account, don't use the same password for both accounts and change them every so often," he says.

Beware of skimming . Skimming occurs when thieves put a device over the payment slot and can extract credit or debit card information, Schulz says. When paying by plastic in a remote area – like at a gas station pump – look to make sure nothing is unusual .

"Go to the point of physically touching the ATM or gas pump and jiggle it. If it moves too much, it might be a sign someone attached something to that device that shouldn't be there. Also, when at an ATM, cover your hand when typing in your pin number. That way if a bad guy has installed a camera to take a video, they won't be able to see what you've done," he says.

Watch the mail. While some documents can be sent electronically, many times policies for insurance or other financial documents come in the mail. People who elect to receive paper documents need to make sure those arrive, says Edwin Cruz, owner of Prosperity Financial & Insurance in Deltona, Florida.

"Once all the business is done, in the insurance world, you get a policy. I have clients who say they didn't get a policy, and that's scary. If you have any doubts, call the company and verify your account is active. Make sure you're getting your annual statements," Cruz says.

If a change of address notice comes in the mail, call the company right away. "You don't know if someone is trying to commit fraud with your name," he says.

A worst-case scenario is if a thief opens up policies or financial products in another person's name with the intent of money laundering, he says.

[See: Watch Out for These Omnious Financial Scams .]

"That's a ramification that could happen," Cruz says. "Don't sit back and think, that's not me, that's not mine. At the end of the day, you're responsible for your ID. You could be put in a pickle that has nothing to do with you."

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