Banking is made more accessible these days with the advent of online banking websites. With this convenience, you no longer have to line up to fulfill any of your banking needs physically. However, online banking has also been a high target of unscrupulous hackers who, because of their expert skill, know how to hack your online accounts. Therefore, extra caution must be exercised when doing any financial transaction online.
Here are tips for safer online banking transactions:
- Choose a bank account that offers two-factor authentication and banking SWIFT codes.
When looking to apply for an online banking account, choose a bank that offers two-factor authentication and banking SWIFT codes. You can find out about this by asking your bank about their online banking precautions. If these are not offered or if you don’t feel secure enough, you may want to consider opening an account for online banking purposes in another bank instead. Never compromise your safety.
Don’t merely settle for the username and password that you are required to enter to log in to your account successfully. Most banking companies now also request for a code or pin, which is only valid for a few minutes, when logging into your account. This authentication code is sent to your mobile phone number, so there is a sense of security that you are the one logging into your account.
When you use your credit card to pay bills online, this two-factor authentication code is also a requirement. Baking swift codes are also necessary when making transactions between two international banks.
- Change your password regularly.
Bankers recommend for their clients to change their password regularly. For your safety and protection, you should change your passwords at least every 90 days. When you change your password frequently, you make it difficult for identity theft hackers to penetrate your account.
For extra protection, use a password that’s quite difficult to decipher. Confidential and secure passwords can be composed of any word or date that is entirely personal to you, such as any of the following:
- The date when your husband proposed to you
- Your firstborn child’s birthday
- Your favorite sport
- Your honeymoon destination
For a quick guide, here are examples of passwords that you should never use, as these are information that others can easily know:
- Your mobile phone number
- Your birthday
- Your full name
- Your profession
- Update your computer’s security and antivirus system regularly.
Apart from regularly changing your password, it’s also highly recommended for you to update your computer’s security and antivirus system periodically. Doing this is especially necessary when you use your personal computer for your online banking transactions. When your security software is up to date, you have a secure firewall that prevents keyloggers and hackers to gain access to any of your saved financial data.
- Never use public computers or Wi-Fi networks for your online banking transaction.
The safest place for you to perform any of your online banking transactions is at home. Never try to log in to your bank accounts by using a public computer or by accessing a public WIFI. The same is recommended even for your office’s network, as many employees share the same. When you’re doing your transactions at home, you can be sure that no stranger will access your browsing history.
- Do not open spam emails.
No bank will spend so much time sending emails to their clients, asking them to enter their login details. When you receive a suspicious email from your banking institution, take time to double-check and verify with your banking company first if the message came from them. What you can do is to check the email address of the sender and compare it auspiciously with the official email address of your bank. You’ll see that there’s actually only a small difference, one that can easily be overlooked, especially if you’re not vigilant enough to double-check.
- Check your bank statement regularly.
Bankers recommend for their clients to check their bank statements at least once a month. Doing this will help you identify any possible fraudulent transactions or transactions that you didn’t make as early as possible. Hence, it’ll be easier for the bank to do something about it and to trace where the transactions were made. Remember that it is not the bank’s job to check your credit card statements for you; this is something that you should be prudent about.
- Always log out after every session you make.
Even if you’re using your personal computer or your smartphone, it’s still a wise thing for you to log out after every session. Never leave your online banking transactions open by not logging out, even if you’re sure to come back immediately later on. If you fail to log out, you’re letting yourself fall prey to session hijackers, hackers, and cross-site scripting.
Nothing beats the convenience of doing your banking transactions from the comfort of your own home. Albeit easy, you have to remember to exercise the highest form of care and precaution, as it is without risks. Remember, every dollar is hard earned, and you wouldn’t want this all to go to waste, only because you have been negligent. Hackers and thieves are smart, but you can be wiser.