Online banking enables remote access to your bank account. You can deposit, withdraw, and check your account balance from anywhere, provided you have enabled online banking to your bank account. However, online banking can be precarious as you can easily lose your money to a thief or hacker in the event they get access to your bank details. You can do the following to practice safe online banking.
Ways to Practice Safe Online Banking
The practice of safe online banking is not hard. You can do the following to ensure your bank details are safe and protect your money from theft.
1. Avoid using public Wi-Fi while accessing your bank accounts.
Public Wi-Fi is a haven for hackers looking for some vulnerability to exploit. Public Wi-Fi is accessible by anyone as they do not require any password to access it. When on public Wi-Fi, hackers can access your browsing device and steal your banking details. Unless you are on a secure Wi-Fi network, one that is only accessible using a password, do not access the website to your bank. Also, consider using your mobile data to access your bank account, as it is much safer.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, ensure you are connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN is significant in hiding your IP address online, thus, averting data tracking. An IP address enables the communication between various devices, and if you do not know what your IP is, you can check through your phone’s settings. Connecting to a VPN ensures that your internet searches, including your IP address, are safe from prying eyes. If hackers access your IP address, then they can easily track and get your personal data, which they use to access your bank account and steal funds.
2. Do not save your login information.
Saving your login information can help fasten and ease your next login. However, this can be risky as the people who get to use your phone or computer device after you can gain access to your bank account and steal from you. Most banking sites are designed to time out after a given time of inactivity and do not save your account login data, guarding you against theft.
3. Utilize strong passwords and review them often
Passwords provide the first layer of protection to your bank account. The bank issues you a pin to access your bank account for the first time. However, you should change that password to a much stronger password. Strong passwords have a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Most banks require your passwords to meet such requirements, especially for your online banking. Also, consider reviewing and changing your password often.
4. Apply two-factor authentication whenever possible
Two-factor verification is the way to go in today’s world, where many have resorted to other people’s bank accounts. Most banks have adopted this security mechanism to ensure their client’s accounts are safe. With two-factor authentication, you will provide your bank with your phone number or email address, where they can send you a verification code to confirm that it is you logging into your account. You are required to enter the code after you have entered your password. Even if your password falls into the wrong hands, your account remains secure.
5. Ensure your computer is up-to-date
Regularly update your computer to prevent yourself from getting vulnerable to a hacker. Keeping your computer updated entails installing any updates immediately they are available and installing the most secure up-to-date antiviruses, which guards your confidential data and bank information from cyberattacks.
Outdated computer and phone devices can be infected by a virus or malware, which steals your bank details without your knowledge. You only get to know about this once your account is wiped out.
6. Always ensure your antivirus software is licensed
There are numerous companies offering antivirus solutions online. There are free and paid versions and licensed and unlicensed versions. Ensure the antivirus you install is genuine to avoid downloading and installing malware or virus masquerading as an antivirus.
7. Always disconnect the internet connection when not in use
If you finish using the internet, ensure you have switched it off. Leaving it on may give a hacker a leeway to your confidential data, including your bank details. Hence, once you are through using the internet, switch it off.
8. Avoid accessing your bank accounts using public computers
Besides not using public Wi-Fi to access your account, you should avoid using public computers in cyber cafes or your friend’s phone to access your bank account. Using public computers makes it easy for account hackers to trace your passwords. Others may also pretend to be busy there but are looking and will steal your logins only to use them once you leave the cyber.
Should you be forced to use them, ensure you clear the cache and delete browsing history and all temporary files within that computer. Also, ensure you do not allow the browser to remember your username or passcode.
9. Regularly monitor your bank account
To be absolutely sure that your bank account is safe, monitor your account balances and your transaction history regularly. Should you notice some suspicious activity within your account, quickly take action by changing your password and calling your bank to notify them of the suspicious account activities.
Online banking rules in today’s world. People can easily transact in their comfort. However, online banking has its challenge, mainly hacking of bank accounts and stealing money. You can circumvent that challenge by performing the steps discussed above.