While online banking is extremely convenient and easy-to-use, it also comes with various security risks. The online world is swarming with hacking and phishing attempts from hackers trying to break into another person’s financial account, steal their information and, subsequently, all of their money. Therefore, every person who regularly uses some form of online banking should be alert to possible vulnerabilities in this system and know the ways to prevent hackers from getting ahold of their banking information.
Naked Security recently published an article outlining 8 tips for safer online banking. By following these tips, users can minimize risks to the security of their financial accounts.
1. Choose a bank account that offers some form of two factor authentication for online banking, such as a key code or unique image.
2. Create a strong password, avoiding common words or phrases, and change it every few months. Also, for security questions, the answer does not have to be the real answer, just one you will remember.
3. Keep your security software (anti-virus, firewall, etc.), operating system, and other software up-to-date to ensure that there are no security holes present when using your computer for online banking.
4. Beware of suspicious emails and phone calls that appear to be from your bank asking for account information. Access your online bank account directly by typing the address into your browser and call your bank back via a number that you are familiar with and you know is legitimate.
5. Access your accounts from a secure location, using computers and networks you know are safe and secure. Avoid using public networks and always look for the padlock icon in the corner of the browser, signaling that the website is encrypted.
6. Always log out and clear your computer’s cache at the end of each session.
7. Set up account notifications to immediately alert you if there is any suspicious activity on the account, such as large withdrawals or a low remaining balance.
8. Monitor your accounts regularly, paying attention to all transactions over the past few months.
In general, bankers who take advantage of online banking services should be aware that technology, the Internet, and networks are not totally safe. Online banking is a great and convenient service, however those who use it must always be alert and aware of their financial accounts and possible hacking attempts.
For more information on safe online banking, visit http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/10/03/8-tips-for-safer-online-banking.