5 ways to Keep Yourself Safe while Banking Online

There’s no disputing the convenience of digital banking. Wherever you are, with a solid and secure internet connection, you can knock your run-of-the-mill banking to-dos off your list in no time. It’s great!

But, is it safe?

With regular reports of hacking, fraud and identity theft, that’s a valid question. The answer is, yes, digital banking is safe. Financial institutions that have entered the digital arena, typically apply stringent security measures – like firewalls, website encryption, fraud monitoring and multi factor authentication – to provide our customers with a safe online banking experience.

But digital banking is safest when secure banking technology is accompanied by the steps customers can take to keep their accounts safe as well.

Here are 5 things you can do to keep your account and personal information secure while banking online:
  1. Know the risks. If you know the security threats digital banking facilities and their users face, you can learn what to look out for and how to protect yourself. Among the most popular are:

    Phishing - Users are sent a seemingly legitimate email or text message, asking them to click a link. Doing so downloads information-gathering software onto his/her computer, or takes the user to a website that requires personal information be filled-in. This information is then used to gain access to the user’s accounts.

    Keylogging - This can happen when a user logs-in to his/her bank’s website from an unsecured network, such as public Wi-Fi. Software records the user’s keystrokes, allowing offending parties to gain sensitive information.

    Pharming - Hackers take control of a bank’s URL so that when customers visit the site, they are rerouted to an illegitimate site that mirrors the bank’s site. Customers are then tricked into entering confidential information.

  2. Amp up your own security. Change the passwords to your electronic devices and online accounts regularly, and use complex combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Install a widely-trusted anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date and trust your mobile device’s data service over public Wi-Fi networks.

  3. Be vigilant. Look out for fishy emails, text messages and websites. No bank will ever ask you to provide your PIN, passwords, or any personal or confidential information via email or text message.

  4. Sign up for those alerts. Request text or email alerts when making large transactions. If there’s activity on your account that you did not authorise, you’ll know immediately and can contact your bank to rectify.

  5. Opt for the app. Online banking apps offer an added layer of protection by helping you to avoid the risk of visiting a malicious website. Always confirm the authenticity of an app before downloading, and log out of the app or the website as soon as you’ve finished.

Banks go above and beyond to protect our customers but employing these safeguards can also go a long way towards keeping you safe.

What are your thoughts on digital banking? What measures do you use to keep yourself safe in our digitised world?

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