Is online banking safe? (7 tips)
The number of people using digital banking breached the 2-billion mark in 2018 , meaning more than 40% of the world’s adult population is doing some sort of money moving online.
As people become more and more reliant on the speed and security of their apps and websites, they naturally lose sight of all the inherent risks that come along with accessing your bank account online.
Risks of Online Banking
Like any app or website used online, there are going to be risks involved with online banking. The first is with the banks themselves, which sometimes have huge security issues that allow cybercriminals to swipe millions of account numbers. If your bank isn’t spending wisely on data breach.
Banking apps can be compromised just like their online counterparts. Apps are generally lower-powered versions of their websites and thus have lighter security. Some apps are entirely fake, made to look like the real thing.
Phishing is the technique by which a hacker tricks a bank customer into clicking on a fraudulent link, which leads to a website that can do anything from install malware on a computer to perform a series of commands to pull out vital information such as usernames and passwords.
Another danger is keylogging, which is a type of malware that records what you’re typing then sends it back to a hacker somewhere. It might seem like an endless stream of nonsense, but not when you type in your bank’s URL followed by your username and password.
7 Tips for Safe Online Banking
- Never use public WiFi to do online banking. Public Wifi, meaning a network without a password, is the equivalent of yelling out your username and password in a room full of strangers. Even the most novice of hackers can see where you’re going.
- Use a VPN when visiting your bank’s online site. A VPN costs a few dollars a month, but when activated it encrypts everything you type and everything you send/receive.
- Invest in antivirus software to knock out any malware attempts on your system or that might be lurking online. Make sure you constantly update the software as well.
- Use your bank’s offer of two-factor authentication. This is one of the best upgrades you can give to your password to keep it safe. Two-factor authentication means not only do you have a standard password, but with it a second layer of security that must be answered in order to gain access to your account. The second factor might be a code sent to your phone that has a shelf life of only a few minutes before it expires. It can also be a phrase that you alone know that you must enter each time.
- Never click on emails from your bank. They might be real, but why take the chance? Anytime you want to see your move your money, go straight to the bank’s site or app.
- Always use the same computer, preferably one in a secure location. Yes smartphones make everything easier, but they also make things riskier.
- Always log out at the end of a session. Think of it as your exit from the bank. You wouldn’t finish banking in real life, and go sit on a couch in the lobby to eat your lunch, would you? When you log out, you make sure no one comes along behind you to access your account illegally.