7 Tips for Staying Safe When Banking Online

online banking security

Online banking provides a convenient way to keep track of your spending, transfer money between accounts and manage your bank accounts. However, online banking can leave your bank accounts vulnerable to fraud, as hackers are continually trying to gain access to bank details and personal information using a range of unscrupulous methods. If you use the Internet to manage your money, it is important to follow these 7 tips for staying safe when banking online.

Use security software

Anti-virus software and a firewall should be installed on any computer, tablet or mobile phone used to connect to the Internet, particularly if you want to use online banking. Most operating systems provide a variety of security options to help keep your device safe and prevent unauthorised access. Set your security settings to their highest level and make sure that all anti-virus definitions are up to date.

Some popular programs are AVG, and Avast.

Update your software

Update the software for all operating systems, software and applications installed on your device, as most software developers include security patches in their software updates. Hackers can use vulnerabilities in your system or software to gain access to your device and your personal details. Security patches help to seal up these vulnerabilities and prevent security breaches. Use automatic updating to ensure that you have the latest security patches.

And that includes your online software! If you host a website, make sure that you keep all of the website software and any plugins up to date. Most hackers work by finding your password elsewhere and then using it to access your important accounts such as banking. It’s not a bad idea to have separate passwords for social media and the like. By the way, if you host a website and use GoDaddy as your hosting provider we use godaddy promo codes to save a ton of money! Not really related to online banking security, but a helpful tip for any webmasters who happen to be reading this article.

Check the web address

Always check that the web address displayed in the address bar is correct, especially if you have clicked through from an email or previously bookmarked page. Banking website login pages are sometimes copied by hackers to look like the original. The copied web page may even be located at a web address that is very similar to that of your bank. However, when you input your details, the hacker will be able to see your user name and password. 

Look for the security symbol

Before entering your user name and password into the banking website, look for the little padlock symbol in the address bar, as this shows that your information is secure and encryption is being used. The web address should also begin with https, rather than just http, as this shows that there is a secure connection between your computer and the banking website. If there is no padlock and the address starts with http, you do not have a secure connection and should not enter any personal details.

Protect your password

Choose a complex password for your online banking, preferably one that contains a mixture of letter, numbers and special characters. Avoid using predictable passwords, such as special dates, family names and common words. In addition, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Never give out your password to anyone else, including your bank. Your bank should never ask for your full password, PIN number or memorable information.  

Watch out for pop-up windows

Beware of any pop-up or pop-under windows that may appear when using your online banking facility, as these could be used as a tactic to trick you into divulging personal details to hackers. Be vigilant when signing into your bank account and abort the sign-in process if you see anything suspicious. Using a pop-up blocker as part of your Internet security system can help to prevent pop-up windows.

Check your bank statements

Keep track of all your spending and make sure that your bank statements tally with your records. If there are any unexpected transactions on your bank statements, contact your bank immediately. Your bank will have their own procedures for dealing with Internet fraud, so it is important to follow their advice and provide any information they request. 


Online banking is a convenient way to manage your money. However, it is important to ensure the safety of your bank account and personal details. Just a few simple precautions can help to prevent fraud and keep your bank accounts safe.

Free or Paid VPN: Which is Better for You? Plus Renewal Coupon Codes!

Free or Paid VPN: Which is Better for You

A virtual private connection is highly recommended for internet users who want to maintain the privacy and security of their connections. Internet users can opt for VPNs when using untrusted networks such as unsecured WI-FI in airports or coffee shops. There are so many VPN service providers in the market today. An online search through your app store will display several options.

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In as much as the free VPN service seems like a good start, is it just as good as the paid VPN? Does the paid VPN offer value for money? When the two are compared and contrasted what are their merits and demerits?  Here is a little more info on how a VPN works.

Price

The main attribute here is the price, wherein it arrives at no cost or partly free. The VPNs are usually provided by highly reputable security companies. A good number of the free VPNs provide complete anonymity meaning one does not have to provide too much financial or personal information to get it.

Level of Security

On the free VPN offerings, the level of data security provided remains questionable. Their use of a single VPN service connection – Point-to-Port-Tunneling-Protocol that’s used by most PCs though insecure – is their undoing. There is no encryption offered entirely on some mobile VPN apps. If a strong internet connection is not top of your priority list, then you can use the PPTP encryption. You can comfortably stream videos from other countries but you shall remain vulnerable.

Those who opt for the paid VPNs have more connectivity options: OpenVPN that relies on the SSL encryption and operates on an open-source protocol or the L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol) accompanied by the IPsec combination.

At the right price one can enjoy data encryption of 256-bit unlike the free VPN that offers 128-bit. It’s advisable to avoid the VPN services that are limited to PPTP as well as those that remain vague on the protocols they host. If it has to be free VPN, a service that supports OpenVPN is best.

Quality of Service Provided

Free VPN services are really no that free as they allow third party adverts to cover cost overheads. This means that the data is not 100%. In the worst case scenario your browsing experience will be interfered by ads, display irregular bandwidth speeds or lack any data encryption.

A good number of free VPNs run themselves by revenue from displayed ads. On the other hand the paid VPN services offer greater service quality which is unlimited data with scores of connection points. Free VPN services can leave you exposed to cyber-attacks.

The paid VPNs are more robust than the free services and less susceptible to meltdowns and power outages. The paid service guarantees protection of sensitive data and user interests all at higher speeds.

User Privacy

The last thing any use wants is a service that logs your activities when online. You can confirm where your VPN is legally based and the government regulations that accompany this.

Final Verdict

The only plausible misgiving when a paid VPN is compared to its free counterpart is the slower transmission speed arising from its heavy transmission. The main reason why one should go for a VPN is to safeguard your data. In that regard, choose your VPN provider carefully.