One very convenient technological innovation is online banking. No more unnecessary trips to the bank or long queues to see a teller. However, as with anything else related to the internet, there are certain risks involved. But don’t worry, by following a few simple safety tips, you can minimize these risks and enjoy the many benefits of online banking.
Here are five safety tips for online banking.
Look out for Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are one of the most common online banking risks. They occur when scammers send fake emails or set up fake websites that look like legitimate institutions. The goal is to trick you into entering your personal and financial information, which they can then use to commit fraud.
If you receive an email or a link to a website that purports to be from your bank but looks suspicious because of red flags like spelling mistakes and vagueness, ignore any call to action.
Instead, call your bank to corroborate the email or go to the bank’s website directly by typing in the URL yourself to check for any official announcements and verify the purpose of the link.
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter not just your password, but also a code that is sent to your phone. This makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.
Typically, you can set up two-factor authentication in the security settings of your online banking account.
Choose a Strong Password
Of course, one of the most important safety tips for online banking is to choose a strong password- regardless of whether you have two-factor authentication. An ideal password is at least 8 characters long and made up of a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Avoid using easily guessed words or numbers like your birthday or words that can easily be discovered about you like the address of a grandparent‘s senior living facility.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Another way to protect yourself from online banking risks is to make sure your phone and computer’s software are up to date. This includes your web browser, operating system, and any plugins or add-ons.
Outdated software can provide opportunities for fraudsters to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to your devices or account. So set up automatic software updates.
Use a Secure Connection
When you’re accessing your online banking account, be sure to do so using a secure connection. You can tell if a connection is secure if the URL starts with “https” and there is a padlock icon next to it.
This means the site is using SSL encryption, which will make it much more difficult for anyone to intercept your information.
So avoid connections that start with only “http”.
By following these safety tips for online banking, you can enjoy the convenience of online banking while minimizing the risks.