How Secure Is Internet Banking? Extra Protection Tips

Secure Internet banking has revolutionized the way that people conduct banking activity. Now you can conduct almost all of your banking needs via your bank’s online interface, whether it be retrieving transaction history, making account transfers, bill payments, and even putting in new checkbook requests. However, while Internet banking offers unparalleled convenience, you should be aware that Internet banking can be subject to security vulnerabilities. While the possibility is fairly remote, you can take some extra steps to protect yourself from being the victim of online banking fraud:

Keep Your Computer & Virus Scanning Software Updated

A very common way for hackers to get the login and password information for your online banking site is to use malicious software or spyware. This malicious software can actually log all keystrokes on your computer and then transmit a file with this sensitive information via email to hackers who can use the information to gain access to your accounts. You can prevent this by ensuring that your computer’s operating system has the most recent spyware updates installed. You should also invest in a good virus and spyware scanning software. Most modern virus scanning software packages have the ability to fetch updates from the Internet to stay current and be able to address new variants of viruses and malware that can harm your computer.

Be Wary of Phishing

You should never disclose your online banking login and password information to anyone. Soliciting such information from you is termed as ‘Phishing.’ Phishing has resulted in a significant amount of fraud because people unwittingly released their personal banking information to fraudulent parties. Your bank will never require your login and password information over the phone or email. You should also use care when using a link in an email that is sent to you asking you to update information on your online banking profile. More often than not,  link is not connected to your bank's website. Instead, when you log in using your credentials, this information will be captured and be used for fraudulent purposes.

Ensure Proper Logoff

When you are done with your Internet banking session, you should make it a habit to click the logoff button to end your session. This is especially important when using a public computer or your work computer. Most online banking websites automatically log you off after an inactivity of your session for a few minutes. However, these few minutes could allow unauthorized users to use the computer to access your accounts and potentially conduct transactions from your session. For best security and to flush out the web browser cache, you should logoff and close the browser session completely before leaving your computer.

Check Your Transaction History Frequently

You should check your account activity through your statements or through the online interface on a regular basis to monitor for any unauthorized transactions. Most banks offer protection from unauthorized transactions, but require you to notify them within a certain period of time if you note any such transactions.

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