Modern banking has been changing the way we bank. Now, we can perform all activities pertaining to banking without visiting our bank branches. Over the years, banks have introduced many online banking solutions to enhance customer experience. Online banking is a convenient way to perform banking activities right from your home or office. In traditional banking, you’ve to stand in long unending queues to perform any banking activity but with internet banking or online banking you can do it conveniently. Whether it’s bill payments, account enquiries, funds transfer, cancellation of check, you can perform almost all banking activities with this fabulous service. In this post, I’ll be showing you 10 precious online banking security tips.
Internet banking is a safe and secure service. Banks take all possible measures to maintain confidentiality and security of customers’ accounts for example making websites encrypted, automatic logout; if customer leaves computer unattended for sometime. Though, internet banking is a safe and secure service, but some people still hesitate to use it (they don’t know internet banking is safe or not?). It’s a common phobia among majority of people (who do not use such services) that internet banking is prone to many types of risks. It’s indeed that internet banking does come with certain risks but such risks are also associated with other banking methods for example you’ve to follow certain safety tips while you use your ATM-cum-Debit card on ATMs or for shopping online.
128-bit and 256 bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryptions are the most secure forms of encryption; those are being used by banks and online shopping websites to build a secure connection between customers’ computers and their websites. Banks implement highest level of security to protect financial information of their customers. However, customer’s participation is also required to ensure confidentiality and security of his/her financial information. In my recent post, I’ve highlighted benefits of using internet banking; and in this post, I’ll be discussing how to use internet banking safely. Here are some useful online banking security tips.
10 Precious Online Banking Security Tips
#1 Type Internet Banking URL
Most of people use search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc) to open an internet banking website. Search engines show results on the basis of your search keywords therefore it would be possible that you accidentally click on a fraudulent website link (such websites almost look like financial institutions official websites) that may steal your financial information. And also never click on email links to open an internet banking website; because spammers use such tricky tricks to steal customer’s login details. Therefore, it’s safer to login by typing URL of your bank’s website in the address bar of your browser.
Banks use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https) for transmitting information between clients’ computers and their servers; it is an encrypted connection which allows secure data transfer. Therefore, see “https” in URL address; if you’re unable to see “https” on login page URL, then avoid login and ask your bank’s representative, “should you use that website or not?” and don’t forget to verify URL address. Note: Your bank’s official website may start with “http” but when you’re redirected to internet banking login page then it converts into “https”.
#2 Use Virtual Keyboard
You might have heard about “Keyword Tracking Software” such software allow users to track all key presses on a computer. Such software record all key presses including special function keys. Some people may misuse this kind of software. If you have installed pirated software onto your computer then there are a lot of probabilities that some programs use some kind of malicious spyware or Trojan programs to steal your passwords and login details. It is also recommended by banks that use their software based keyboard (virtual keyboard) to login. Always use virtual keyboard shown on the screen to enter user ID and password; especially when you’re logging in from internet cafes or shared computers (BTW, you should never do that).
All internet banking websites are equipped with virtual keyboard facility; so always use software based keyboard to enter login details.
#3 Change Password Regularly
Make a habit to change your internet banking password after every 45-60 days. Create a strong password by using alphabets, numbers and special characters’ combination. Your password should be unique (do not use same password for other websites) and difficult for others to guess; avoid using names, date of births, telephone numbers, vehicle registration numbers etc, to create passwords.
#4 Stay Private
To safeguard your personal or financial information, use your own personal computer or smartphone to access your accounts. Do not access your account using public computer or WiFi such as cyber cafe or shared computers; chances of online fraud are more at such places. Also, never use shared WiFi connections to login.
If you necessarily need to login from cybercafe or shared computer then use browser’s “incognito mode” in which browser does not save browsing history and other data. Always use virtual keyboard; it reduces the risk of password theft.
#5 Monitor Account
Regularly, monitor your account to discover any discrepancies. After every transaction, login and check for amount deductions; if you find any unauthorized transaction, then immediately inform your bank. See last login date and time, whenever you login; if you notice any suspicious activity then take a prompt action to protect your account. Set-up account notifications through SMS (Bank sends you a confirmation message after every transaction) and make a habit to track account activities like last login details, last transaction details etc.
#6 Keep Your Computer Up-to-Date
It does not matter for what purpose you use a computer you should have an antivirus to protect your computer from malware attacks. As of now, security programs are immensely important for computers because in our day to day life we access many websites and who knows which one is going to harm our computer. Always use a paid version of antivirus program because free antivirus programs give you limited security. Security programs protect your computer against malware attacks and keyword tracking software.
Always make sure that your antivirus program is up-to-date and also use an updated version of internet browser. Avoid use of pirated software.
#7 Don’t Respond
Do not login by clicking on an email link. For your kind information, your bank never asks you to verify your login details. Therefore, it would be good for you to stay away from such emails or calls. Never respond to such emails and do not download any type of attached file.
#8 Don’t Share User id and Password
Never ever disclose your online banking user ID and password to someone. Never write user ID and password on paper, just remember it. However, if you’re absentminded then you can write a hint for yourself.
#9 Enable Account Notifications
Nowadays, all banks automatically send confirmation messages of credits and debits to customers. If you’re not getting such messages then visit your home bank branch and activate account notifications. Such notifications help you detect any unauthorized activity. Your contact information (like-phone number) should be updated with your bank.
#10 Log Out
Do not forget to log out from your internet banking session. If you leave your computer unattended for some time then you’ll be automatically logged out, even though, you’ve not opted for log out. But never do so. Simply opt log out when you no longer want to use internet banking. Clear browser history and cache every time after the end of online session or use “indigo mode”.
If you’d follow above mentioned online banking security measures for safe internet banking.