Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your online banking services.
From round-the-clock access to your account, fund transfers and bill payments anytime, it’s no surprise that more than 50% of Indians prefer online banking to traditional banking services. But, if you’re not careful, banking from the comfort of your living room exposes you to several security risks that can be avoided if you’re very, very careful. Here are 10 practical online banking security tips that will help you have a safer online banking experience.
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1. Create strong passwords and change them regularly
The very first rule of a secure bank is simply to create a strong password and change it regularly. Always use random strings of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols when allowed to create a strong password. Be careful and never use anything personal – no birthdays, pet names or favorite foods.
2. Monitor your accounts
It might sound simple enough, but avoiding online fraud also means doing your part by checking your bank statements monthly and contacting them if you notice any suspicious charges, credits, or debits.
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3. Use a secure location/sites/network when banking online
Free and public Wi-Fi networks are often unencrypted, making you an easy target for hackers to steal your personal information. Ideally, leave all your financial work while on a secure network at home and, if possible, use a dedicated browser for banking. But, if you’re in a rush, find a private place and use your smartphone’s data hotspot to transact.
Another thing to watch out for is to make sure your bank’s website has the lock symbol in the web address bar and starts with “https”. This means that the site is permanently encrypted and all data is converted into unreadable gibberish before being sent – thus protecting your private information.
4. Use banking notifications
Most banks provide customers with SMS and email alerts for various purposes. This ranges from receiving a notification when a transaction exceeds a certain amount, when your balance drops below a certain amount and more. Use these notifications to alert you each time your account is accessed. Always keep your bank’s support numbers handy, in case you see a transaction you didn’t initiate and need to stop it immediately.
5. Always Log Out
Avoid falling prey to session hijacking and cross-site scripting exploits by always logging out of your online banking session when you’re done. Computer or cell phone, you can add another layer of protection by using a private browser that clears its cache at the end of each session.
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6. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
You can prevent identity theft and all of its many complications by simply using an extra layer of security also known as multi-factor authentication. Many banks natively offer two-factor authentication where every time you try to log in, the bank sends you an SMS or email with a unique verification code to enter on the bank’s website along with your name. username and your password.
7. Beware of email scams
No bank worth their salt will ever ask you to share sensitive personal information or account details via email or text. Whenever a complaint is filed, the bank will always ask you to contact you personally and verify that it is really you by asking for your account number and personal questions regarding the information you have previously collected.
Phishing scams are just one type of scam that asks for your bank details so they can deposit millions as a prize you just won or as an incentive to help someone in need. Ideally, NEVER respond to any of these emails. However, if you want confirmation on how to proceed, contact your bank using the official numbers/email addresses on your bank’s website or through their other genuine credentials and authorized channels.
8. Use anti-virus software
One of the simplest things you can do to protect your personal information is to set up, run, and regularly update antivirus software that will filter everything from your emails and browsers to your pop-up ads. .
9. Update your operating systems
Software updates can seem a bit tedious, but they often include necessary security upgrades that prevent infection from new malware. Never skip suggested updates and always try to install the latest edition of your operating system to ensure your data is safe.
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10. Only use official banking apps
Just like the original Trojan, vicious malware can sneak in and cause serious damage if downloaded inadvertently. The good news is that your bank’s crypto mobile app is probably the safest place you can transact. Remember to install updates with the latest security features and only use apps from known/trusted sources such as Google Play Store or iTunes.
As technology develops and gets smarter, the risks you face online also increase. By staying vigilant and following the advice above, you can ensure that you have a safe and easy online banking experience. Bank securely!
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This content was created in association with YONO SBI