Online banking is one of the convenience we have right now. It gives benefit not only the the customers but also to the respective banks. Both business and customers can save a lot of time, money and effort by having online banking system to facilitate online transactions over the internet.
Along with the benefits and convenience, we should also be aware that it has disadvantage and consequences. And one of the thing we need to consider when doing online banking is the security. We must always keep our private and sensitive information secured.
On this article, I will share 6 practical tips for a secured online banking. Please continue reading below.
6 practical tips for a secured online banking
Tip#1 Create a strong password
Passwords are one the most sensitive information we need to secure. When creating passwords, make sure you create a strong password as you can to secure your online banking accounts.
What is a strong password? A strong password is a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Most of the secured websites also distinguish the difference between upper case and lower case letters so you can take advantage of those.
To add, most of the bank’s websites right now offer password security checking that automatically tells you if your password is weak or strong. Check if your password is strong or secure enough.
Make sure you create a password that is hard to guess by others but you can easily remember. Don’t use birthdays, nicknames or last name and other easy to guess personal information when you are creating password.
You also need to regularly change your password. Change your password at least once every 3 months.
Most of the online banking system offer password expiration as part of their security. You can follow their guidelines.
It is also advisable to use different passwords in different online banking account. You don’t wanna give ‘all your data‘ to the hackers just in case right? This is the front end security of all your sensitive financial information. Once the ‘hacker‘ was able to get your password, other personal and financial information will be compromise.
So please beware!
Tip#2 Don’t use public computers or public networks for financial transactions
It is advisable to use your own personal computer when doing online banking or logging in to your online accounts.
Don’t make online banking transactions on public computers like in computer shops or public wifi which are available ‘FREE‘ in public. Most of the computer shops have installed ‘key logger‘ software which will capture all your keyboard activities including sensitive information like passwords and account numbers.
Not only that, some key loggers software have the ability to capture screen shots or even videos of your activity and save to its database. You will not know that because it’s running on the background and mostly only the administrator of the computer or network has the access.
So better be careful and vigilant with your sensitive information.
If you’re using a smartphone, make sure that you kept all your sensitive information privately. Never share it to anyone you don’t trust unless needed. If your smartphone are being use by your kids or other persons, make sure you log out all your sensitive account like your banks or credit card. It is your responsibility to secure all your private data.
Tip#3 Delete suspicious email
Your bank or other financial institution may send you email alerts and updates, but you don’t have to click through the links to access your account. It’s usually much safer to log in to the website manually to ensure you are entering a secure site.
Phishing emails redirect the recipient to a malicious website or fraudulent version of the bank’s website and some are designed to collect your username, password, and other personal information.
Never respond to emails that ask to verify your identity by providing your username or password. Banks will never ask for this information via email—at most, you will need to supply the answer to a security question or you may need to do this over the phone with a personal banker or customer service.
Tip#4 Have an updated anti-virus software
Viruses and malware are one of the top causes of personal information theft. Some virus and malware are created to expose your personal information and broadcast it over the internet. Make sure you have an updated anti-virus on your PC or smartphone to keep you safe.
There’s a lot of good FREE anti-virus you can download online that can help you protect your information.
You can also schedule a full scan to your PC or smartphone to make sure that you don’t have any virus or malware running on your machine.
Tip#5 Clear browser cache, cookies and history
If your a technical personal or an IT guy I’m sure you knew this. But for those who are not familiar with these terms, let me explain to you as easy as I can.
When you browse the internet through your browser (Mozilla firefox, Google chrome, Internet explorer, Safari and others) it leaves history of websites and pages you’ve visited online. Those are kept in your browser’s database for faster access when you visit the same website or pages again.
Not only that, it collects all personal information that it can collects from you.
Let me give an example. When you are logged in to facebook, try to browse or visit other websites like hotel websites or consumer websites or any other you like.
When you get back to facebook, you will see that all the ‘ads‘ or advertisement they are showing are related to the websites you just browsed. Why? They are using cookies and other tracking software to save those information.
So you need to be aware of your activities especially when doing online banking transaction. Another tip for secured online banking transaction is to clear your cache, cookies and browsing history. Here’s how.
1. In the top-right corner of Chrome, click the Chrome menu Chrome Menu.
2. Select More tools > Clear browsing data.
3. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
4. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
5. Click Clear browsing data.
1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.
2. Click the Tools button Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history. If you don’t want to delete the cookies and files associated with websites in your favorites list, select the Preserve Favorites website data check box.
3. Select the check box next to each category of information you want to delete.
4. Click Delete.
This instruction is for a computer but most likely it is almost the same for mobile devices. Just look for the menu and look and select browsing data. Then from there you can clear it or select which browsing data you want to delete.
You can be specific if you just want to delete history or cache. If you’re not using your own computer, it is advisable to clear them all.
Other platform/devices or model may differ but most likely you can browse them almost the same with the instructions above.
Tip#6 Monitor your accounts regularly
Regularly monitoring your online banking accounts can be one of the best way to avoid information theft. Make sure that you check every transactions you have on your account.
If you are seeing anomalies on the record, report immediately to your bank so they can check and verify. Some online banks or online banking system also allows you to see how many times your account has been accessed or how many wrong login attempt was done to login on your account, if you are suspecting any malicious activity immediately change your password and report it to your bank.
Fraud or personal information theft can be minimized if not avoided by the tips I shared above. I hope this article somehow gave you an idea how you can secure your online banking account and secure your online transactions.
We must be aware and vigilant to protect our sensitive information.
Please share to others to make them aware as well.