Online and mobile banking have become more popular recently. The number of physical banks decreased by almost half between 1995 and 2015.
Additionally, many banks are urging customers to use online banking services in light of current social distance standards. However, the increased use of online services also raises the danger of cybercrime.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your online banking safe.
Avoid utilizing free WiFi
To secure your online banking, avoid using public WiFi for banking in order to protect yourself from “lurkers” who may be scanning the WiFi network and conducting man-in-the-middle attacks. Additionally, you can turn off the automatic connection and, if using a laptop, make sure file sharing is not enabled.
Check whether the websites you visit use TLS/SSL encryption.
Bank websites are typically authenticated as the real deal and not fake using the highest level of TLS assurance. By clicking on the padlock and “Certificate Information” to view the bank’s information, you can check the legitimacy of your bank’s website.
VPN whenever possible
Consider using a VPN if you must use public WiFi because it can add an extra layer of security and privacy by preventing man-in-the-middle attacks. But not all VPNs are secure. Check security publications’ ratings before implementing a VPN solution, and think about spending money on reputable, paid services rather than a free VPN.
Keep secure passwords.
It is advisable to keep a strong password, but you should pay special attention to this as you spend more time online at home. To centralize your passwords, you might think about using a password manager. Additionally, you can safeguard your accounts by enabling automatic logout after a predetermined amount of time.
Install the bank’s app.
Online banking can be more secure than mobile banking, if not more secure. Some apps also support multifactor authentication or biometrics like face, eye, or fingerprint scanning. Additionally, they frequently don’t store data on mobile. So, when using public WiFi, mobile apps might be a more secure option. Utilizing an app also prevents the display of strange links, which can be a component of phishing attacks.
Examine your privacy settings.
Using next-generation financial tools like Venmo can seriously compromise the security of your personal data. Make sure your account settings are correct and refrain from using these apps to reveal sensitive information, such as transactions.
Watch who you authorize.
Consider how sharing access will affect your account security before granting apps or other users access to your accounts. Before downloading a financial app and granting it access to your accounts, look into the security measures it offers. And if you trust someone, only give them access to your accounts if it is absolutely necessary.
Subscribe to banking alerts
When certain account-related activities occur, your bank may notify you via email or text. These alerts enable you to quickly secure your accounts if they exhibit unusual activity.
Banking alerts include, for example:
- transactions over a specific threshold,
- unsuccessful login attempts,
- password or information changes,
- international transactions.
Follow up on bank statements
You might want to regularly check your bank statement in addition to alerts. You must keep an eye on your statements because some transactions might seem to be from you, but your bank won’t notify you of them.
Watch out for phishing scams
Make sure the emails you receive from banks or other financial institutions are legitimate by carefully reading them. At first glance, it might appear that your bank is asking you to log in, but if you are aware of the typical phishing warning signs, you can more easily spot and avoid scams.
You might receive a call from a scammer who poses as a bank representative. Hang up and call the bank directly if you’re unsure.