3 Security Tips for Your Online Banking
You take precautions when you do your banking at the ATM. You make sure to hide your PIN after you insert your card so that no one can get a peek, even when they’re standing right behind you. You don’t wave your cash withdrawals around — you instantly tuck the money away into a pocket, purse or wallet. And if you feel like the ATM is in a dangerous area, you won’t visit it to minimize the risk of being robbed of your hard-earned cash.
These are good precautions to take when banking through an ATM. What precautions should you take when you bank online?
1. Use Secure Internet Connections
Online banking allows you to manage your money from anywhere. As long as you have access to a smartphone or computer, and you have an internet connection, you can log into your online bank account and other money management apps without trouble. However, just because you can manage your money from anywhere, doesn’t mean that you should.
You should only do online banking through a secure internet connection. Never do it on a Public Wi-Fi connection. Public Wi-Fi isn’t secure, which means hackers can obtain sensitive information while you’re connected to it.
If you want to do your online banking while you’re away from your home’s secure connection, you should consider getting a virtual private network (VPN). This could increase your cybersecurity, no matter your location.
2. Use Secure Websites
Your internet connection isn’t the only thing that should be secure. Any website where you intend to submit banking information needs to be secure, too.
For instance, you might want to apply for an online loan to help you cover an emergency expense when you don’t have enough money sitting inside of your emergency fund. Before you fill out an application, you should make sure your loan is legit to guarantee that you’ll get the borrowed funds you’re hoping for and that your sensitive information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. After all, you’ll have to share some of your banking information to access an online loan.
How can you tell that a website is secure? The easiest way to check is to look at the web address. Does it say “https” instead of “http” at the beginning? The ‘s’ means that the connection is secure and uses encryption to protect sensitive information that users share on the site.
This quality isn’t just important when you’re looking at online loan providers. It’s also important for online retailers that you want to shop at. You’ll want to use a retailer with a secure home site so that you can insert your credit card information without worrying about it being intercepted by someone with bad intentions. You could avoid becoming the victim of credit card fraud.
3. Use a Strong Password
Did you phone in your password when you were opening your online bank account? Then, you might want to log in and change it to something much stronger. The stronger your password, the safer your account will be. If you happen to have a weak password that is easy to guess (for example, using the word “password” as your password), you have an increased risk of someone hacking into your account and accessing the funds inside of it.
You’ll want to create a password with a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. And the longer your password is, the better. Strive to have your password be a minimum of eight characters. If you can manage it, add more!
You need to be as cautious with your online banking as you are with your ATM banking. Follow these tips and keep your account information safe!