With technology improving in leaps and bounds, convenience has also become standard. Tasks like cashing and depositing a check to your bank account is as simple as taking a picture on your smartphone. The number of devices that can be used to manage bank accounts has increased as well.
Gone are the days where banking mandated a physical trip to the bank. However, with these added conveniences comes the increased risk of cybercrimes suited to this new way of banking. With identity theft and fraud becoming as prevalent as they are, here are some more tips on how to bank online more securely.
Enable Account Notifications
Those who bank online should monitor their accounts regularly. However, when it comes to fraud, sometimes checking on a weekly basis is not enough, as acting quickly when suspicious activity occurs is critical.
If your online banking system offers this protection, enable account notifications that will send an email or text to notify you when possibly fraudulent behavior occurs. You can often set these notifications to occur when withdrawals over a particular amount happen, or when your account balance drops below a certain threshold.
Be Careful on Free Wi-Fi
If you’re just hanging out at a coffee shop or waiting for your plane at the airport, don’t be tempted to bank or make purchases online while on unsecured Wi-Fi. While you can feel fairly secure on your own private network at home, public Wi-Fi spots are more easily tapped, thus possibly allowing your data to be intercepted by criminals. Avoid banking or shopping on unsecured networks as much as possible.
For some, shopping eBay or banking while on the go is a necessity, however. In those cases where you can’t avoid connecting to the free Wi-Fi, implementing additional security measures such as using a VPN for a secured connection can provide more protection.
Don’t Use an Easily Guessed Password
While we all know this, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded how a common password can be easily guessed. Here are 2013’s top 15 worst passwords according SplashData:
If you haven’t been paying attention to your passwords, and especially if you use any that are on the list above for your sensitive banking sites, now’s the time to change that.
Secure Your Computer
Even if you always log out of each session, never bank while on public networks, and consistently change passwords, being meticulous won’t help at all if your computer (and devices you bank on) aren’t kept up to date. All it takes is one accidentally downloaded keylogger virus and every letter and number of your carefully crafted passwords can be logged and delivered to a cybercriminal.
Prevent these types of insidious attacks by setting your devices and browsers to automatically implement security updates, and make sure to have firewalls and a good security program in place.