The availability of online banking has made making financial transactions like sending and receiving money quite easy. It has also brought about ease and convenience for people. Instead of going to the bank to make transactions every day when you want to, you can make certain transactions from anywhere you are without worries.
Even though online banking has so many merits, it is not without its fair share of issues. If you are not careful and your banking information falls into the wrong hands, you can end up losing a lot. So when you are making use of online banking, here are some ideas that can help you keep your information secure:
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Connecting to public Wi-Fi on the go to access information can be a good thing, but the dangers associated with doing that make one rethink. For example, hackers can access the data transfer through public wifi, it is easier to get malware, spyware, and other viruses into your system, you may also be using unsafe Wi-Fi to access your information.
It is often advisable that you should not use public Wi-Fi when you are sharing important files or accessing important sites like your online banking because you do not know if it is secure or not. The best thing is to use your cellular data just to be safe.
If you have no choice but to use public Wi-Fi, ensure that you set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that is only accessible to you. Additionally, do not access sites that do not have the SSL certificate, which you can see in the padlock sign or HTTPS in the URL of the website. These are all important measures you should take.
Check for TLS/SSL encryption
Banks know how important it is for them to secure their online banking with TLS and SSL encryption. In addition, sites that care about the safety of their customer’s banking information, especially e-commerce sites, ensure that their sites are encrypted. SSL certificate brings encryption to your site and it should be purchased from well-known SSL providers. These providers offer many great products including RapidSSL, Comodo Positive SSL wildcard, Sectigo SSL and many more.
To ensure that the site you are visiting or your online banking site has TLS and SSL encryption, you have to watch out for the HTTPS in the URL and the padlock sign. A site that uses a Wildcard SSL certificate will have that which helps to calm your mind. If you are accessing your online banking site, it is best to check the certification information of the bank when you click on the padlock sign.
Use VPN where possible
Using public Wi-Fi, which is oftentimes not secure, is our only option sometimes. As a precaution, it is often best to have a Virtual Private Network that you can use. Many brands offer such a service so it is good to do your research to check the most effective and affordable one for you to use.
Maintain strong passwords
Using strong passwords on your online banking apps, or sites is another way to protect your banking information besides only visiting sites that are protected with SSL certificates. Hackers sometimes guess passwords and can access people’s information because people make it easy for them.
While using information like your birthday, name, pets name, short password, or using the same password to log into many things you do online can be easy for you to remember, it is usually not safe. To be safe online, use longer and stronger passwords generate, mix the characters and symbols, and use both upper and lower cases.
If remembering the password will be hard for you, you can write it down somewhere or use a password manager. Also, ensure that if your online banking app or site sits idle for too long, you are logged out.
Use multi-factor authentication
Using multi-factor authentication is another online banking security measure you can use to ensure that hackers do not access your online banking details. You can ask your bank if and how it can be enabled. When you use multi-factor authentication, apart from using your name and password to log in, there is a second layer of protection added to it like identifying images, biometrics, one-time passwords, etc. So, even if a hacker knows your password, it will be hard for them to figure out the second layer of protection when they want to log into your mobile or online banking apps.
Download your bank’s app
Instead of accessing your bank through sites on your desktop, it makes better sense to use your bank’s official application and log in through your mobile device. When using the mobile app, it is better to use your cellular data instead of Wi-Fi to access it. Using your bank’s mobile app instead of the app makes it more difficult for hackers to access it. However, you still have to be careful and try not to fall victim to malicious attacks.
Check your privacy settings
You may use next-generation financial apps or accounts that you may connect with your main bank account. Sometimes, these pose problems and can compromise your banking information if you are not careful. So, ensure that your privacy settings are great and that you are not disclosing more information than you would want to via these financial channels.
Be careful whom you authorize
Authorizing other people or apps to access your online banking or have access to your financial data gives room for your banking information to be compromised. When you want to authorize other people to access, your account or other third-party apps ensure that there is a security layer in place for these apps. You do not want to download just any app and let it access your financial information without being sure that your data is protected.
Sign up for banking alerts
You should not pass up on signing up to receive banking alerts that your bank offers. Some of the banking alerts include a text message for every debit and credit transaction, personal information updates, failed or successful login attempts, linked external accounts, password changes, etc. You can also get emails if that is what you want. Doing this helps you monitor every transaction that happens and if you are not the one that authorized it, you can easily spot it and report it. In addition, you will know who is trying to access your online banking without your permission, which can help prevent possible big issues in the future.
Monitor bank statements
Monitoring your bank statements can help you spot strange transactions that you did not authorize in your bank. Your bank may see it as normal, but taking time to go through your bank statements will let you monitor what is going on with your bank and if anyone has unauthorized access to your banking information.
Beware of a phishing scam
Hackers access the banking information of a person through phishing frauds which you should not fall victim to. They send emails or text messages with links that when you click on and provide your details, they can have access to your data. Some of them even call claiming that they are your bank representative and telling you to share your financial data.
So, ensure that before you click on any links that are sent to you through emails or texts that it is from your bank. Additionally, even if someone calls you claiming that they are a representative of your bank, you should be careful, verify, and try not to share sensitive information.
The convenience of using online banking to carry out financial transactions is convenient. Nevertheless, you need to be careful because it also opens doors for people to access your banking information if you are not careful. Therefore, the steps listed here are some ways you can ensure that you ensure the convenience of online banking while also keeping your banking information secure.