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7 Tips To Secure Your Online Banking

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Online banking has revolutionized the way we use banking services. However, just like many other technical innovations, online banking comes with its own set of risks and security challenges. Indeed, if you are not careful about the security of your banking transactions, you could lose your entire savings in the blink of an eye. This article will reveal some tips and tricks that can help you to secure your online banking activities.

Tip #1: Keep your security tools and OS updated

If you regularly use online banking services from your computer or mobile device then you must keep your anti-virus, firewall, operating system, banking app and browser updated. By updating your anti-virus and firewall regularly, you can deal with the latest malwares, viruses, spywares and keyloggers. On the other hand, the operating system, browser and app updates allow you to beat security challenges associated with these softwares. You must keep in mind that criminals are always on the lookout for security loopholes in the existing systems so by upgrading your software regularly, you are thwarting the attempts of hackers who are trying to use the latest security threats against you.

Tip #2: Use extremely secure passwords

The importance of using a strong password for social networks, banking and ecommerce websites cannot be overemphasized. While choosing your banking password, make sure that it doesn’t contain your name, address, social security number, telephone number, date of birth, spouse name or any other information that can easily be obtained from your friends, family members or social account profiles. To make your password really strong, you must use a phrase containing 2 or more words interspersed with numbers and special characters. Also, if your bank offers 2 step authentication process, make sure to use it. Finally, while accessing your bank accounts, make sure to use virtual keyboards instead of typing your username and password manually.

Tip #3: Beware of Phishing and Smishing attacks

You are probably aware of phishing attacks but smishing might be new for you. Basically, smishing is the equivalent of a phishing attack for a mobile device. Whenever you receive an email or a text message asking you to update your personal and banking details by clicking on a link within the email or by calling a free toll-free number, delete the email/message immediately. In addition, you must never reveal your Debit card number and PIN details over telephone even if the caller claims to be an employee with your bank. Moreover, while visiting your bank’s website, remember to type the address manually or use the official banking app provided by your bank.

Tip #4: Remember to Log out

After your banking session is over, remember to log out and close the browser tab (or the mobile app). This will prevent hackers from stealing your banking data from the browser’s cache. For even more security, you can also clear the browser cookies and cache information after every online banking session.

Tip #5: Subscribe to bank alerts

Most banks offer a free alert feature that would instantly inform you about the transactions happening within your bank account. Remember to subscribe to such alerts so that you are able to detect an unauthorized transaction immediately and contact your bank for further action. You must also make a habit of checking your bank statements on a regular basis.

Tip #6: Stay away from third party apps

For mobile payments, you must only use the banking apps provided by your bank or reliable financial institutions. There are many third party apps available on Google Play and iTunes stores that allow you to make payments with a single tap. However, such apps may contain malicious programs built within them so trusting them with your bank/payment information is definitely not a good idea.

Tip #7: Avoid banking from public places

If possible, you must avoid using banking services from public places (Wi-Fi networks, internet cafes etc.). Since most public networks do not use robust security measures, it becomes incredibly easy for criminals to steal your personal data (including bank login/password details). If at all, you need to transfer money or log into your bank account from a public place, it is good idea to switch to cellular networks or use a privacy solution such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the protection of your banking sessions.

April 24, 2014

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