A Pew Research Center study found that more than half of US citizens bank online and another third use mobile banking. It offers the convenience of banking from the comfort of your seat, saves you time, and is cheap. Despite the risk that comes with conducting transactions online, online banking is rated as one of the safest ways of conducting transactions. If you take the right precautions, there is little likelihood that you may lose your cash or banking information.
Here are a few tips to keep your account safe when banking online.
Take Care of Your Passwords
The password is your first line of defense for your online resources. Therefore, take care of your logins as carefully as you do with your ATM pin. Avoid saving your login details on your device, just in case you lose the device.
When setting the password, never use a common word. Rather, use a combination of numbers, special characters, and upper and lower-case letters. Words are easy to guess, especially if they are related to your bio, such as your school, maiden name, and location. A longer password is better, as it is harder to guess. However, the password you choose should be easy for you to remember.
Change your online banking passwords at least once every 90 days. It helps cover any loopholes where the password may have leaked. In the same breath, change the password as soon as you believe it may have leaked.
Refrain from Using Public Wi-Fi when Banking Online
There are several public hotspots across town, from restaurants to substations. However, public Wi-Fi is not safe to use when making online banking transactions. Since these networks are open, it is possible for third parties to access your browser history or view what you are doing remotely. Therefore, any activity that requires you to log in should not be done on a free internet connection. This applies even if you have an online password store that inserts the password for you.
Avoid logging into your online account using public computers, such as those you would find in cyber cafes. Criminals may use keyloggers to save your passwords as you type them. Just use your mobile data and bank using your device. Even in this case, ensure that you log out as soon as you are done using your online account.
Take Care of the Attached Cards
It is most likely that you will have debit and credit cards attached to the account. These are also avenues where you may lose your money or banking information to criminals. If you are using the cards to do your transactions, ensure that you verify the websites before entering the card details. A common form of identity theft involves the use of websites that look like the ones you want to log in to just to steal your information.
Popular areas where people use cards include online eCommerce sites and casinos. If you are a gamer, ensure that you go to a licensed and reputable casino. Such a casino is secure and there is little risk that your information will be stolen. One popular casino that is safe and offers multiple methods you can use to complete transactions is Stake Casino. Read the Stake review on OnlineCasinos.tv to learn more about it.
If you are not sure about the security of a site, you may consider other online payment providers that connect to your account rather than sharing your banking details directly with the account in question. This creates an extra layer of security when making transactions online.
Check Your Banking Statement Regularly
It is good that you check your bank statement at least once every month. You may notice a transaction that you did not initiate and secure the account. Most banking institutions provide a banking statement on demand. While banks are pretty good at catching fraud, especially involving cards, they may not catch every transaction for each customer that banks with them. Therefore, being proactive can help prevent further hemorrhaging of your funds.
If you find transactions you do not understand, even if they involve low amounts, change your passwords immediately. Besides, contact your bank for help in investigating the money trail. If the suspicious transactions seem to have originated from an attached card, cancel the card besides changing your account password.
Consider Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a two-layer form of security that goes beyond your password. When you log into your account, the bank sends a code via text or through a phone call to the registered number. This means that anyone else with your password cannot access the account as they will not get the code. While this may be an inconvenience, it is a good step to keep your account safe.
How Safe is Online Banking?
Banks follow strict security protocols to ensure that your money is safe at all times. Here are some measures.
- 256-bit encryption for communications between your device and the account
- Automatic log out functionality when your account remains idle for some time
- Two-factor authentication to verify if the password user is really the registered owner
- Electronic Signature Verification
- Continuous monitoring of your account.
In addition, banks are required to report any data breach to regulators as soon as it happens so that other players in the sector might take steps to prevent it. Therefore, your account is usually safe as long as you take the necessary precautions on your side.
Never let your guard down when banking online. This is your money at stake, and one mistake of omission or commission may wipe out your entire savings in a few minutes. Be vigilant. Make it hard for anyone to guess your password and avoid being careless when carrying out transactions online. Always contact the bank if you have any concerns about the account’s security.