Online banking has revolutionized the personal finance industry making it quick and easy for you to access your accounts and perform routine transactions. The real-time nature of online banking gives you a sense of control over your money. People love the instant-gratification of seeing funds move or deposit instantly.
Online Banking Risks
The benefits and convenience of online banking also come with some risks. Anything you do online is vulnerable to hacking, and the last thing you want is someone gaining access to your money.
The Types of Threats
As we have all witnessed in the news, big companies are vulnerable to hacking, even your bank. We trust our banks and credit card companies to keep our online data safe but we have no way of knowing how secure their system is and every system has flaws. Look for a bank with transparency that informs customers of security risks and then takes swift action to seal them.
If you use the same login email and password for other accounts along with your bank, if one of the companies is hacked, your bank accounts may be at risk. Be sure to use different login credentials for each account you sign up for online.
Due to reliance on the Internet and hardware and software performance, there are times when online banking may not be available to complete reliability cannot be guaranteed.
What is Mobile Banking and is it Safe?
More people now use mobile devices than desktop computers. Therefore most banks have made mobile apps available to customers to access their accounts and perform basic functions, quickly and easily. You can now make a deposit within seconds using only your cell phone. Isn’t technology great!
But, with this technology comes risk. Mobile phones are subject to the same dangers as a computer such as malware, viruses, and hacking. Other issues are poorly designed mobile apps that may fail or may not be secure. Always use the app that came directly from your bank. Third-party apps can be suspect and may be dangerous.
One last item to be aware of is that many mobile apps collect data about you from your phone. Even mobile bank apps sometimes gather and transmit personal data and store it that you didn’t even know about.
5 Tips for a Safe Mobile Banking Experience
With all the talk of dangers and risks, you can still use online and mobile banking and be relatively safe if you follow these tips below.
1. Monitor Your Accounts Frequently
You work hard for your money, and you don’t want anyone taking it without your permission. Monitor your accounts frequently to be sure you don’t see any transactions, withdrawals or changes in the login information that you did not authorize. Contact your bank at once if you do see anything that seems out of line.
2. Change Your Password
Everyone has so many passwords to remember, and that might make you lazy, so you end up using the same password over and over. Don’t do that on your bank accounts. Set up a unique username and password combination and change it often, at least monthly to keep your accounts safe. A little bit of hassle could save you hundreds and even thousands of lost dollars.
3. Login From a Secure Location & Log Out When Done
Don’t pop onto your cell phone while connected to the coffee shop WiFi and do some banking. Only login when you are connected to a secure network, preferably one using the newest WPA3 protocols for encryption and security.
4. Don’t Click Through Emails
Even if you get a legitimate email from your bank, don’t use the links. Go to their website directly from a clean URL and then log in. A lot of spoofing scams send emails that look very real but turn out to be hackers trying to steal your information and your money.
5. Set Up Alerts & Notifications
Most banks offer alerts to notify you when specific things occur on your account like a change in password, overdraft, and unrecognized access. Sign up for these alerts on your mobile app, so you know immediately if anything has changed.
Bonus: If you are willing to avoid cyber threats that seem to be here for the long term, to establish and protect your online identity ought to be a top priority. Each of the mentioned proactive approaches, including regular password change and log out when done, will be useful only in certain situations. Yet, there is a solution that creates an encrypted tunnel connection between your device and a secure server. Thus protects your online security & privacy no matter what kind of online activity you perform. No cybercriminal will be able to decode any of your sensitive personal data now, even if some of it fails to their hands.