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.
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.