Tips for Safer Online Banking
By and large, the internet has made the transfer of information much faster and our lives much easier. Banking and transactions are no exception—over half of U.S. adults use online banking for daily tasks. However, while online banking is much faster and safer nowadays, it can be less secure than face-to-face banking if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Use a strong password (and disable automatic login)
A strong password for your online banking account is your first line of defense. Avoid using personal words or phrases, like your birth date or your middle name. Instead, to create a strong password, incorporate upper and lower case characters, numbers, and punctuation—and disable your browser’s ability to automatically log you in every time you visit your bank’s site.
If possible, use two-factor authentication. Your bank may send you a small device that generates a unique and temporary code required as part of your login credentials
Keep your computer up-to-date
Operating systems like OSX and Windows, as well as browsers like Safari and Google Chrome will release regular updates that fix potential security flaws that make it easier for hackers to find or intercept your login information. Keeping your computer, browser and security software up-to-date will make your browsing experience more secure.
Don’t trust emails or text messages from your “bank”
No reputable financial institution will ever send emails or text messages requiring you to submit your login information. These emails are usually phishing attacks trying to trick you into giving your credentials away to hackers. Do not click on any links or respond until you have verified that the emails came from your bank. Instead, always access your online bank account by typing the address into your browser directly.
Access your accounts from secure WiFi (check for https)
While public Wi-Fi networks are convenient and accessible, they are often unencrypted, making it easy for hackers to steal your login information while you use online banking. When possible, save online banking for when you’re at home, or use cellular data to access your bank’s secure mobile app.
Regularly monitor your accounts
One of the best methods to ensure that your online banking is secure is to stay on top of your finances. Checking your banking information often will alert you to any discrepancies or suspicious charges and make it easier to pursue any action by alerting your bank early on.
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