How to Bank Online Safely?
Today's digital era has made it possible for a lot of daily errands and transactions to be done with just a few clicks on a user's personal device. This includes mobile banking, which has caused traditional banks to minimize the number of branches they develop as they expand their digital offerings. As a result, more than 70% of bank interactions in the USA are now done via mobile and online, rather than at local branches.
Convenience is the main reason why. Typical bank services like checking account balances, transferring funds between accounts, depositing checks and paying bills, can be done from a computer or mobile app at any time of day and from anywhere. This eliminates the need to go to the bank branch and you can even find better interest rates on your accounts, as well as lower fees.
However, although this opportunity provides extraordinary access to your finances, the previous high-profile data breaches of several companies will rightfully give you some pause before getting on the bandwagon. Your bank will deploy industry-standard security measures to protect your data but you will have to safeguard your valuable information as well yourself from identity thieves and hackers. In light of this, here are some basic but crucial steps you can take to strengthen your security.
Protect your computer, tablet and mobile devices
Always use licensed best free antivirus protection, such as Comodo Internet Security (CIS), to protect your computer from any type of viruses and malware. It comes with outstanding features to keep your systems secure, such as banking protection and safety tools. Make sure that you always keep your antivirus updated so that your confidential information is always protected.
Keep your devices updated
While your bank will keep their security up-to-date, it's your responsibility to make sure that the software on your devices is updated and not just your best free antivirus protection. Mobile device and computer manufacturers update their software regularly, not only with new features but with important security updates so it’s best that you always follow through.
Never share your bank or personal information
Cybercriminals use sophisticated tricks to get you to reveal personal information, such as creating fake websites that look like your bank, emails that seem legitimate and phone calls that will try to intimidate you. Keep in mind that your bank will never send you a request, asking for your personal or banking information. If this happens, reach out to your bank directly using the contact information you already have and don't reply to an email or phone call that you feel suspicious about.
Use proper password strategies
Apart from creating an online banking password that will be difficult for criminals to guess, you should avoid reusing passwords on multiple websites as well. Additionally, make sure that your computer or mobile devices are password protected as well so that if you lose them or they got stolen, it will make it much more difficult for digital thieves to access your data. Consider using a reliable password manager app, too, so you won't have any trouble remembering all your passwords.
Avoid using public computers to login
Refrain from logging in to your bank account at communal computers in cafes or libraries. There's a higher chance of your password being traced or seen by others as these are crowded places where criminals may lurk upon. Should you really need to log in from such places, make sure that you clear the cache and browsing history, and delete all the temporary files from the computer once you're done.
Type your internet banking URL
Phishing is often done through e-mail where hackers trick a user into thinking they're logging into their account when they're really not. It typically informs you that you need to change your online information, verify a purchase or other activities that would want to make you log into your bank account through a link attached in the mail. As such, it's safer to type your bank URL in the address bar of your browser than clicking on any links. After that, make sure the page is secure when entering data by looking for a small lock (Internet browser security lock) either in the bottom corner of the window or next to the address bar and whether the URL will start with https:// instead of http://. If you do not see this, do not log into the page.
Keep an eye on your statements
Online banking allows you to do several transactions, such as bill payments, funds transfer, and creating a fixed deposit, in a much faster and more convenient way. However, this opportunity needs to be used very carefully to avoid phishing and other cyberattacks. While it may sound a bit daunting to follow proper cybersecurity measures like downloading the best free antivirus protection, it's really just a compilation of ongoing, simple steps, that you should be taking proactively to protect your devices and valuable data.
While online threats are a big concern for the banking industry, using your common sense and considering the above practices will help you avoid any problems with your bank account.
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