We are in an age of rapid advancements being made in technology. These advancements have been embraced by a lot of people, including banks. These days, it is now common to see that banks and other financial institutions offer online banking as an additional service to their customers. While it is easy to use and very convenient, I must warn you that it comes with a lot of risks especially in regards to security. Hacking and phishing attempts populate the online world, all as a result of the attempts of hackers to want to break into the financial accounts of internet users, and by so doing steal their details and eventually their money.
This is the reason why anyone who is an active user of the internet should be concerned about internet safety or cyber safety. This has to do with the measures that any user of the internet would implement and apply in order to stay safe online. Online safety does not have to relate to just your research, entertainment, or other browsing activities.
Applying these techniques ensure you cyber safety and also online protection. And the reason for this is simple: when you perform your banking transactions on the internet and you do it under the cover of online safety, you do not get to lose valuable information and even money. That is why you need to secure your online banking.
How to stay safe online and secure your online banking
It would be easy to say that for anyone who wants to secure online banking activities all that they need to do is to stay safe online. But the question is – how to stay safe online. A lot of internet users do not know too much about internet safety. And because of their lack of knowledge in regards to online safety or cyber safety, they engage in acts that do not secure your online banking activities. This would invariably lead to undesirable losses and thefts of their money.
In the article below, I am going to mention some ways that you can use easily and without any major costs to your online banking transactions. You might already be aware of some of them. All the same, you can still refresh your memory and implement them to secure your online banking activities.
- Always update your system: no matter the method that you make use of to access the internet, you must ensure that you always download the updates that are appropriate in order to both maintain a system that is up-to-date. Good ways to do this is by running anti-virus scans frequently and approve updates to your system as required. Outdated systems are always fertile grounds for the success of most leading Trojan horse viruses. This is why you need to continuously update your devices.
- Search for encryption – One of the ways you can ensure your internet safety and perform secure online banking is by checking to confirm that you are actually logged to the website of your bank. You can do this by searching for a small lock icon on your browser. Also, the URL must begin with “HTTPS.” You can secure your online banking by ensuring that you access your bank account over an encrypted connection. The URL and the icon indicate both.
- Make sure that your device is protected – ensure always that you have a firewall and an anti-virus protection software turned on and running. This would secure your online transactions and protect you from any type of virus that might be installed after being downloaded from a malicious website. It would be worth your while to research the different available programs. Particular attention would need to be paid to those with higher quality and cost a little extra. These would give you additional security when you need to secure your online banking information.
- Use only secure locations to access your accounts – if you want to secure your online activities as much as possible desist from making use of wireless access points that are unsecured to go online and access your online accounts. These accounts should only be accessed when you have a connection that is secure. Wireless access points that are unsecured especially those found in hotels, coffee shops, and airports are very simple and easy to access and intercept by hackers. Your details could then easily be collected.
- Have your passwords changed on a regular basis – in order to secure your online banking tasks desist from making use of the same passwords across a lot of websites. In addition, ensure that you are making use of a password which is very strong. Such strong passwords would have a mix of special characters, numbers, lower and upper case letters. Additionally, do not make use of phrases and words that contain your birth date, initials, or your name. In order to further secure your online banking work, it would be a great idea to form the habit of changing your passwords once in a few months. A lot of banking institutions have an additional security step installed where every online customer would need to verify their identity by either answering a security question of identifying an image that had been pre-selected. You can your online banking activities by the use of these additional security layers.
- Desist from clicking emails – updates and email alerts might be sent to your by your bank or financial institution. However, you are not expected to access your account by clicking through the links. In order to stay safe online, it is best to log into the bank’s website by manually typing in their address in the browser just to make sure that it is their secure website that you are entering. A phishing email redirects the potential victim to a website that is malicious or a fraudulent and fake version of the website of the bank where your password, username, and other personal details can be collected. You should never be scared to contact your bank to verify whether they were the ones who sent you any email or made any attempts to contact you. Do not ever reply any emails that request that you verify your identity through the provision of your password or username. A bank can never ask for such a detail through email.
- Have your accounts monitored on a regular basis – In order to secure your activities, endeavor to have your accounts checked on a regular basis. This is to ensure that all transactions which get posted are only the ones which were authorized by you. Any suspicious or fraudulent activities must be reported to your bank. After you have completed any sort of online shopping, form the habit of having your accounts monitored every few days. This ensures that your account has the proper charges and is not being used to make purchases for some smart hacker.
In conclusion, it is necessary that banks and other financial institutions should know that there can never be complete safety in networks, the Internet, and technology. Although, online banking is a convenient and wonderful service anyone who makes use of it has to be aware and alert to the ways to secure online banking. This would guard them against any possible hacking attempts to their money.