Security tips for online banking
The future of banking is online, and while sending or receiving money and accepting or making payments through our smartphones is the pinnacle of efficiency and convenience, the system has its drawbacks. Our money is now less secure and, unlike financial institutions, security is largely your responsibility. “This opens the door to possible exploitation by fraudsters and hackers. If you learn about online security, you can stop these cyber criminals. Read five tips to help protect your money and data as you explore the world of online banking:
1. Install a VPN
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, were once reserved for technology leaders, but that's no longer the case. Anyone can be a target by cyber criminals right now, and encrypting your data and surfing the Internet anonymously is a necessity, not a choice. VPNs protect you from snoopers who might peek into your transactions, determine your IP address, and obtain more personal information. There are many VPNs that you can get cheaply to keep not only your financial information but your other online activities masked as well. Take the time to understand your requirements before choosing a VPN.
2. Use a strong password
Your password is your access to your account. If a hacker accesses this and your username, they could get into your account disguised as you, possibly without you ever knowing they did it. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid using passwords that are easy to guess. Your password should be several characters long and contain a mixture of numbers, special characters and letters in upper and lower case. It should also be something that you have never used in any other account.
3. Use trusted devices
When accessing your online banking accounts, always use devices that you can trust. If possible, choose a device and stick with it. Public computers can contain malware, keyloggers, and spyware that you can expose to people with malicious intent. Make sure that the computer or smartphone you are using is regularly checked for malware and that the operating system and software are always up to date.
4. Use secure WiFi
The urge to use that open school or cafe WiFi to connect to the internet may prove irresistible, but that's a huge risk you are exposing yourself to. Open, unsecured Wi-Fi networks do not encrypt data. You send it as it is in an open field of communication lines, which means that a hacker can easily identify your line. You don't have to worry about encryption when you have a VPN in your device. However, it is advisable to avoid unsecured wireless networks at all costs, especially when conducting online transactions from your online banking accounts.
We are deep in the digital age, and survival and success mean in part that we evolve or abandon ourselves. You need to keep up to date with any developments. The tips above will help you enjoy the fruits of adopting online banking early without putting your safety or your finances at risk.