Online banking provides tip of your fingers access to your bank account from anywhere and on any device. You can transfer funds and pay bills anytime you want to. It’s no surprise that online banking has had such a meteoric rise in recent years.
But banking this way can leave you vulnerable to certain security risks. Online banking providers offer a number of security measures to keep this risk to a minimum, but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself. The following is a list of practical security tips that will help keep you safe as you bank online.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly
Your banking login details should be completely unique. A secure password should be 10+ characters with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. It is wise to change your password every 6 months.
2. Protect Your Login Details
Don’t let anyone know your online banking login details. Any emails, text messages or phone calls in which someone asks for any sensitive details is probably a phishing scam. Never give these details out in this way.
3. Only Access Online Banking via Secure Networks
Free, public Wi-Fi networks usually are not encrypted. Thus, if you access your online banking through them, you make yourself an easy target for hackers. You should only access your online finances when using a secure network at home. It would be even better to do it through a dedicated browser like your online banking app.
4. Use Fingerprint and Face ID
Biometric technology like fingerprint and face ID are safer methods for logging than usernames and passwords. Multi-factor authentication such as two-factor authentication (2FA) is another powerful tool for keeping thieves out of your personal information. Many banking apps now offer these as standard so be sure to make use of them.
5. Keep Everything Updated
Software updates can feel tiresome at times. But they often come with important security upgrades that prevent the latest malware from getting onto your computer or another device. Avoid skipping suggested updates and ensure operating systems and apps are up-to-date with the latest upgrades for your safety.
6. Only Use Official Banking Apps
Vicious malware can do serious harm if you are tricked into downloading it. Your bank’s own mobile app is heavily encrypted so security there is extremely high. Keep it updated and it is virtually impenetrable, but you should never use unofficial apps to access your banking details. Only install apps from authorised sources like iTunes or the Google Play store.
7. Be Wary of Suspicious Emails
Cybercriminals will try to trick you with convincing emails that appear to come from your bank or another trusted source. Their aim is to get you to disclose sensitive data like login details so that they can steal from you. Similarly, avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails or text messages as they may cause you to unintentionally download malware. Always check the sender’s email address to assess whether or not it looks suspicious. And if you have any doubt at all, don’t click anything!
8. Be Very Careful About Making Transfers
Only transfer money to people/organisations you trust. In most cases, money transfers done via online banking cannot be reversed. The only way to get that money back is if the receiving party agrees to return it. Some malicious agents will attempt to trick you into transferring money to them and you will get nothing in return, so be very careful.
9. Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is important on desktop and laptop computers, but it can also be downloaded onto mobile devices. Its sole purpose is to protect you against malware and viruses. The built-in firewalls can provide a barrier between a trusted network and a malicious one, so these can be powerful additional defences.
10. Monitor Your Accounts Frequently
This might seem like a very simple thing, but it is something that not everyone remembers to do. Avoiding online fraud can be as simple as regularly checking your transactions and contacting your bank if you notice anything suspicious. This can include things like unexplained charges, credits or debits. You can also set up notifications on most banking apps which will send you an SMS message whenever a transaction happens.
11. Always Log Out Properly
Though online banking usually has built-in features to protect against this, you can fall prey to hijacking by leaving your online banking session open when finished with it. Always log out properly, particularly if you use a device that someone else may be able to gain access to. An additional step would be to use a private browser that always clears its cache once a session is complete.
12. The Importance of HTTPS
Whenever you enter sensitive information on a website, make sure it has a secure HTTPS connection. The most popular browsers make it very easy to see this by looking at the address bar. You should be able to see https:// at the start of the URL, and they often include a padlock symbol that tells you the security level of the website. If the page does not have HTTPS, don’t share any personal details there.
13. Be Alert to Phishing Scams
We’ve already mentioned them, but phishing scams are one of the most substantial threats to your online security. If you come across a phishing scam, notify your email provider and/or contact your bank to alert them to it. Moreover, if you feel uncertain about a communication that seems to come from your bank, contact your bank directly and ask them about the communication. If they know nothing about it, you were probably targeted by a phishing scammer.
14. Be Careful What You Share on Social Media
The more information about your life you share on social media accounts, the easier you make it for someone to steal your identity. Make use of privacy settings on social networks and don’t share too much information about your private life in a public setting. Also be conscious of posting photographs that contain personal information. For example you may post a beautiful photograph of you and your partner, but there might just be a paper bank statement on the table next to you in that photograph!
15. Follow Your Gut
Sometimes, when using the internet, you will come across things that just don’t feel right. The same goes for making payments or transfers or entering personal details. Listen to your gut and stop what you’re doing if something doesn’t feel right. You can take some time to check before you proceed – it just might save you from making a big mistake.
Why choose Eventura for a your cybersecurity?
With over 20 years experience in cybersecurity, we know our stuff. Our team of cybersecurity experts and complete a full audit of your business and identify any areas of weakness, which could leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks.
We were even mentioned in the Governments National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Annual Review 2020 when we were chosen to test their “Exercise in a Box” designed to help small businesses prepare and respond to cyberthreats. You can read the article here.
There is a common misconception that cyberattacks don’t happen to SMEs but this couldn’t be further from the truth. With our expert knowledge, we can help you protect your business’s future from the ever increasing threat of cybercriminals.
If you would like to speak to one of our cybersecurity experts or request a cybersecurity audit, you can request a free call back here.