How to Safeguard Your Online Banking Accounts Using the Internet
You’re one of a dwindling number of people who haven’t switched to internet banking yet. 73% of Americans use the internet or a mobile device to access their bank accounts car title online, according to a 2019 poll by the American Bankers Association.
There’s a reason behind this.
Keeping track of one’s accounts has never been easier with online and mobile banking. Taking a break from Facebook to play Candy Crush as you pay bills, deposit checks, and transfer money is possible. When it comes to everyday banking, you no longer have to visit a branch.
Only one major problem should be kept in mind while doing financial transactions via the Internet: security.
If your bank account is hacked or your personal and financial information is taken, it may cause many problems. Fraudulent wire transfers, for example, may result in the loss of money in your account. Alternatively, an identity thief may use your personal information to create credit cards in your name and go on a shopping spree.
It’s essential to take security concerns for internet banking seriously. After all, you’ve worked hard for your money, so keeping it safe should be your first concern.
Banks’ security methods to safeguard their consumers include 128- and 256-bit data encryption. The good news is that there are many things you can take to keep your online banking data secure.
Take the time to develop a password that is both memorable and secure.
This may sound like common sense advice, but even if you don’t know it, your password might be an open door for hackers.
Online banking passwords are susceptible to several typical blunders, such as:
- Personal information, such as a person’s name, address, or birth date,
- Using passwords with fewer characters
- As a result of relying on popular phrases or raw numbers.
- logging in to several accounts using the same password (something 83 percent of online banking customers do, according to a 2018 Cyclonis survey)
- Using outdated passwords
Password-guessing hackers will have an easier time gaining access to your online banking information if you do any of these things. Here are a few suggestions for making your online banking passwords more secure:
- Instead of a single word, use a phrase as a password.
- Make use of both capital and lowercase characters.
- Numbers and other symbols should be included.
- A good rule of thumb is to avoid overused sequences like “1234”.
- Personal information, such as your name, your dogs’ names, your birthday, and so on, should be avoided.
- Don’t save your online banking or mobile app login information.
Your internet banking passwords should be changed at least once a year. Changing your password every three to six months will help prevent it from being hacked or deciphered. Use a password manager to keep track of and safeguard your passwords, which will make it much simpler to remember and use more complex passwords in the future.
If Your Bank Offers Two-Factor Authentication, Enable It.
When securing your online banking information, two-factor or multi-factor authentication may assist.
To put it simply, it provides an additional degree of protection when logging into your online or mobile banking account. You must enter your login credentials and pass a second security check.
Your account may be verified by dialing a pre-programmed number or identifying a pre-selected picture. These measures might make it more difficult for hackers or identity thieves to get their hands on your account.
Contact your bank to check if they provide multi-factor authentication. If that’s the case, all you’ll have to do is download a free authenticator app.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi at all costs.
You can’t rely on public Wi-Fi to be secure when you need to remain connected while on the road. Some of the main threats to public Wi-Fi security, according to Norton, include:
- Online banking and other financial transactions may be eavesdropped on by hackers using man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Communal networks that do not encrypt data transfers
- Hotspots of criminality
- Viruses and adware
Simply avoid utilizing public Wi-Fi to access your online banking information.
You may take a few precautions if you must use the internet to access your online banking account while in a public location. Encrypted sites should always be used instead of open file-sharing services. If you see “HTTPS” in the URL of a website, it indicates that the site has been encrypted and will display a lock symbol next to the URL in your browser. If you have a firewall on your laptop or mobile device, it may flag websites considered harmful for you to visit.
A VPN, or virtual private network, is an option to explore. You’ll get access to a secret network that no one else has. Using a VPN service, you may set up a VPN on your laptop or mobile device. Software like Norton includes it.
Join the Banking Alerts Program now!
One of the simplest methods to keep track of your financial activities and check security is via banking alerts and notifications. Registering for email or SMS alerts from your bank can be an option, depending on how things work in your particular institution.
Some of the notifications you may wish to set up are new credit and debit transactions, unsuccessful logins, password changes, and outbound wire transfers. To provide an example, you’ll be alerted immediately if an identity thief tries to log in to your account.
Your password might then be changed by logging in and changing the password. If someone manages to get into your account and make a fraudulent transaction, notifications may assist. You may alert the bank immediately if your online banking credentials have been hacked so that no further fraudulent activity can occur.
Always Be On the Lookout for Phishing Scams!
Phishing is a frequent technique identity thieves use to acquire access to sensitive data, such as bank account numbers and social security numbers. Scammers use deception to get you to hand over the personal information that they can use against you.
Email scams are the most common kind of phishing scams. This might include an email that seems to have come from your bank requesting that you go into your online account and make any necessary changes.
It looks to be a legitimate site when you log in. However, it is essentially a phony site. If you click on a link, a tracking trojan is instantly installed on your computer, allowing identity thieves to record your keystrokes and steal your identity.
Either way, you’ve unwittingly divulged your login credentials. If an email asks for financial or personal information, it’s crucial to pay attention.
Make sure the sender’s email address is correct. Instead of clicking on links, hover over them to see where the link text takes you. After receiving an email from your bank requesting information, contact your local branch or customer care to check that it is genuine.
A call from your bank or anybody else asking for your financial information is no different. Calls from someone pretending to be an IRS agent seeking money for overdue taxes are among the most popular phishing scams.
Hang up and call the number back or perform a Google search for the number first if you get this kind of call. This is a simple approach to see whether the call is legitimate or a scam.
You Should Be Very Careful When Choosing Financial Apps to Download
Financial applications, such as mobile banking apps, may assist with many economic tasks, from managing your finances to paying bills and transferring money to friends and family. Indeed, security personnel isn’t all equal.
To begin utilizing mobile banking applications, make sure you’re using the official app from your bank. Your online and mobile banking information should only be shared with those you trust.
For example, a Robo-advisor or budgeting program may be on your to-do list. Because these applications need this information to generate a financial picture, they may ask for your online banking login credentials.
Even if such applications are safe, they might put your information in danger. In addition, you may violate your bank’s terms of service if you do this. Check the app store’s ratings first before installing any financial applications. Do your homework and find out about the security rules of the app developer, as well as any data breaches that they may have had in the past.
The End of the Road
With internet banking, you have complete control over your finances at the press of a button, but there are inherent hazards as with any other online activity. Online and mobile banking shouldn’t be a problem, but you should exercise caution. That’s when the suggestions in this article come in handy.
Also, don’t forget to do routine device security maintenance. If you haven’t done so before, set up a firewall on your laptop or mobile device. Lock your computer with a password and unlock your phone using face recognition or fingerprint recognition. Finally, make sure your operating systems are current. You can reduce the chance of your online banking information falling into the wrong hands by being proactive in controlling security threats.