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Online Banking Security

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Even though online banking may seem risky, it is absolutely safe to conduct all of your banking online every day. Millions of people do their banking online and feel safe doing so. Do you think that online banking is safe? Let’s explore some of the ways to keep online banking safe and your sensitive information secure.

Thieves can access your account by tricking you into thinking that you’re logging into your account when you’re not. This is called phishing. So how do they do it? They simply send you an email that instructs you to log into your online account to change your information or verify a purchase through a link in the email. Avoid clicking on this link in every instance. Always access your online banking through a bookmark created by you or by typing in the URL in your browser.

Ignore any and all requests that ask you to send your personal information via email. Usernames, passwords, PIN numbers, account information and credit card numbers can easily be read and intercepted by a third party since email is usually unencrypted. This information is also stored on servers, which can become compromised and read by thieves.

Ensure that all of the web pages that you visit are secure when you are online banking. You will know that a web page is encrypted when you see a small padlock symbol appear in the bottom right corner of the window or beside the address bar and URL at the top of the web page. If this symbol does not appear, assume that the web page is not secure. Avoid entering your username and password and log off immediately.

Be aware of where you log into your bank online. At work, your computer may have key loggers installed on it or your company may be using other methods to monitor your actions and access your login information while you’re online. Since wireless networks can be intercepted and read by a third party, ensure that the wireless network is secure using WPA. Avoid logging into your account from your friend’s computer or an unfamiliar computer. Usernames and passwords can be stored and used to access your personal information.

Use a strong password for logging into your bank online. Avoid using a password that thieves can guess easily, such as your pet’s name or a 1234 combination. Your banking password should contain a mixture of numbers, special characters, and capitalization. In other words, your password should be difficult for thieves to guess.

Ensure that you install virus software on your personal computer to keep it protected from potential thieves. A thief can infect your computer and install a key logger that keeps track of each keystroke that you enter on your computer. Your username, password and other confidential information could be captured.

Online banking is safe. All you need to do is take the right precautions to ensure that you keep your account information secure every time you log into your bank. If you are aware of the potential dangers, you will be able to do your online banking safely and securely.

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15 Comments
  1. I’m usually very vigilant when making sure the link I am dealing with is legitimate.

    My main concern with online banking has been the mobile apps for many of the major banks. I’m very apprehensive about the security of these mobile applications. There’s a great sense of paranoia from me that I’ll lose my phone, and someone will access my account. I don’t trust the security measures put in place on the apps, as there’s no real way to verify your account.

  2. Oh, I really hope people will read that, David.

    Online banking is something very, very useful and it is very practical too. But there are also some dangers you have to consider. It’s not like you lose all your money when you do something wrong or at least not in a perfect way but it just boosts the risks.

    So everyone, follow the tips mentioned above. Do everything you can for your own security.

  3. I’ve been very wary of using my bank information online and it wasn’t a concern for a very long time but that’s only because I use cash mostly. Lately, I’ve found a reason to use my bank account’s online capabilities and I haven’t encountered emails that ask to confirm my banking information. Thanks for the warning, David.

    There are times when these kind of things can’t be avoided. If you think your banking information has been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately and update all your information.

  4. These are very good tips. If we take these precautions we don’t have to be fearful about banking online which is such a great convenience.

    The warning about phishing is especially helpful. Some people may not be aware of this or may be tricked by the authentic look of an email. Also being distracted while you’re checking your email might lead you to make an unfortunate snap judgment.

    I have been using online banking following these precautions for approximately 10 years. Fortunately I have not had any problems.

  5. I only recently started using online banking. I am always cautious of doing it every time I use it as it is very easy for a computer to be compromised if we are not attentive and even the slightest mistake can lead to your bank account being compromised.

    These are very good tips and they’ll definitely come in handy when I’m e banking the next time.

  6. I’ve noticed how some banks/websites offer a virtual keyboard in letting their users enter sensitive information. I guess that’s a good way to avoid having your keystrokes logged.

    • I am also beginning to notice this. I kept asking my bank if they thought it was safer or not to have a virtual keyboard, but I think the attention is all on apps nowadays. With banking apps, it’s as if the system is getting a makeover.

  7. Most online bankers do not bother to take any precautions. And most people are online bankers, aren’t they? That means a whole lot of vulnerability. Most of my employers have let me check my bank balance on work computers. Isn’t that interesting?

  8. I used to get a lot of phishing emails before that I had to change my email address. The good thing about this is that it’s fairly easy to spot the thieves granted that you’re smart enough not to fall for such things.

  9. Great tips. I have multiple bank accounts online and several different passwords. It can be easy to forget about all of the hackers who are trying to break into secure bank accounts. I hope it never happens to me! Your suggestions will help me be more secure.

  10. Great post, particularly with regards to good password policies. I agree with the general assessment that online banking is secure, but I still wonder if the banks themselves couldn’t take some more precautions.
    For instance, oftentimes banks forbid passwords from containing non alphanumeric characters (such as ‘ or ; or @), or limit password length. I can’t shake the feeling that this makes passwords much more likely to be guessed, or brute-forced.
    In addition, banks really should offer a two stage authentication option for the more paranoid among us. A simple token that displays a code that needs to be entered on the bank’s page when logging in would be enough. That way, even if a password is stolen, the thief can’t get into the account unless they steal the token as well.

  11. I always make sure that the website is encrypted before I buy something, although I usually don’t have to worry because I use debit online and all my payments are routed though PayPal. With credit it’s a bit trickier, you really have to be careful about who you give that info to.

  12. Online banking makes me squirm. I noted some major advantages of doing your accounts online, and they are quite hard to think of. The central point is always on how easy it is to do things online. That applies to a lot of areas, not just finance, and now it is even possible to pay for things by apps that we use with our phones. In fact, I find it easier to use apps on my phone than to make phone calls nowadays. With so many crowd funding and crowd sourcing initiatives being brought to our attention the banking industry should automatically gets upgraded and updated.

  13. I’ve noticed something about online banking. The younger people like myself are much more easy going about this, while the older generation is trying to avoid it. Seeing we’ve grown up surrounded by computers and the internet, it’s completely natural.
    It’s indeed very useful and much more convenient than running to the bank every time you want to do a transaction. My parents for example are overly cautious about online banking, even though I ensure them it’s completely safe.

    • Something I forgot. They also dislike online shopping, even when you pay the courier when the package arrives. Which I can’t even understand.

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