Online banking is one of the conveniences of the modern age. With it, you can transfer money and pay your business phone systems bills among others with a keyboard and a click of your mouse. It must be said that this kind of convenience comes with a risk. If you use your bank’s online banking facility, you are always at the mercy of internet criminals and hackers who merely wait for the right opportunity to trick you into handing them your hard earned money. Online thieves may employ a number of methods such as send you phishing emails and do cross-site scripting attacks so they can get their hands on your online bank account. Your bank is likely doing their best to protect you from online thieves but it is not enough. You have a personal responsibility to safeguard your bank account from potential theft. Here are some of the security practices you should observe to protect your online bank account:
Avoid Opening Other Applications While Banking Online
Try to avoid opening other browser tabs or using other applications if you are logged in to your bank on your PC. Doing so can put you at risk of attack vectors that online criminals use to get at you while you are accessing your bank account. If you open a malware infected application while banking, for instance, a hacker may capture your keystrokes to get your account credentials. Worse, your online banking session may even be taken over by the hacker completely. Not opening your email and other applications while banking online reduces your risks of having your account compromised. See to it that you also log out of your account once done with your transaction.
Create a Strong Password
One of your best defenses against online thieves is your password and this is one of the few things that can prevent hackers from accessing and stealing money from your account. You should therefore make an effort to choose a password well. Using a dictionary word or recycling a password that you already use for your other online accounts is a big no-no. Go for a unique and difficult to guess password with a combination of numbers and letters.
Do not Trust Any Email that Claims to Come from Your Bank
People who transact money online are popular targets of phishing attacks. Phishing emails look like they come from legitimate senders such as financial institutions but they actually come from online thieves trying to ask for your login details. While your bank may really send you notifications at times, it is best to take precautions than be sorry. Avoid clicking any links attached to bank related emails particularly those that say the link leads to your account login page. You may be told to update your account details but this is likely an attempt to steal your login information. Should you receive a suspicious email such as this, contact your bank immediately by using the contact information you can see in your most recent statement of account.
Set Up an Account Activity Notification
Your bank may have provided you with an option to receive an SMS message or email notification whenever there are certain activities in your account. You should set up an account activity notification so you get an update whenever a big amount is withdrawn from your account or your balance drops to a particular amount. This notification can alert you of suspicious activities in your account. If you do not remember making any withdrawal but received a notification, for instance, it is time to investigate and check your account. See to it that you take advantage of this security feature if this is offered by your bank.