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Online banking allows you to control your financial life with the touch of a button, but it also has risks to it. Following the right approaches and being careful will help you avoid these security threats.
Fremont, CA: Online and mobile banking have made managing finances more accessible and convenient. However, having the bank account hacked or personal and financial data stolen can be a problem, from having money drained from the account to an identity thief using the information to access credit cards. As such, issues of online banking security should be taken seriously.
Set Up Banking Alerts
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of banking activity and control security is banking alerts and notifications. When setting up alerts include notifications for new credit and debit transactions, failed login, password change, and outgoing wire transfer. These notifications can send alerts if someone manages to hack your account and make fraudulent purchases. You can notify the bank immediately to prevent additional fraudulent activity.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be convenient to stay connected on the go, but it is not as secure. If it is urgent to use public Wi-Fi to access online banking, disable public file sharing, and only stay on sites that are encrypted. Encrypted sites will have “https” in the site’s URL, which also triggers the lock icon on the left of the URL in the browser. Also, consider setting up a VPN (Virtual private network) as it creates a private network that only you can access. A VPN can be set up from your mobile device or laptop using a VPN service.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication can increase security when protecting your online banking information. It enables you to add a second layer of security verification to log in to the online or banking account.
Be Wise When Downloading Financial Apps
When downloading financial apps, make sure that you are using the bank’s official app and be wary with whom you allow access to the online and mobile banking details. Always check the rating first before downloading the app from the app store and research the app developer’s security policies and if it has a history of data breaches.
Choose Strong and Unique Passwords
More often than not, the choice of password can create a window for hackers, and some common blunders you may make with online banking passwords are:
• Using personal information like name, address or date of birth
•Using short passwords
•Using common words or simple number combinations
• Using the same password for multiple logins
• Not updating passwords regularly
Although these may make it easier to remember passwords easier, it also makes it easier for hackers to hack and obtain your online banking information.
Here are some ways to create a stronger password:
• Choose longer passwords
• Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters.
• Include special characters and number
• Don’t use common sequences like “3456.”
• Avoid using personal information.
• Do not store login details in your online banking or mobile app.
Always make sure to update the passwords regularly and change them every three to six months to reduce the odds of your password being stolen or decoded. Use a password manager to save and protect the passwords and make it easier to use the long and complex passwords.
Be Careful of Phishing Scams
Identity thieves use phishing to obtain personal and financial details by tricking you into giving up information. These scams can take different forms, but the most common one is email scams. This is why it is essential to examine any emails that request financial or personal information.
Always check the sender's address of the email first and hover over it to see where the link text leads to. If you get an email from the bank asking for information, call the branch or customer service to verify if it is legitimate before sharing any details.
Another phishing scam involves calls from a person claiming to be an IRS representative demanding money for unpaid taxes. Hang up and call the number back or do a Google search for the number to check if it is legit and not a scam.