Millions of individuals use online banking as a convenient and fast way to manage their finances. Yet, many people also do things that jeopardize the security of their account information. If you decide to bank online, here are a list of the top ten things you can do (or not do) to help you bank more securely online.
- Keep your password private. Do not give someone else your password.
- Do not click on a security alert email from bank telling you to login and change your password. Banks will never ask you to do this via email.
- Do not email your password or account information over the Internet. Most email is not secure and can be intercepted and read by others. Call or use a secure messaging system if your bank provides it.
- Do not use public wi-fi hotspots to connect to online banking. Public wi-fi can be hacked. Either wait until you are in a private location, or if using a mobile phone, turn off wi-fi and use 3G or 4G, both of which are more secure than public connections.
- Do not use public or shared computers for financial transactions. You shouldn't use public computers for online banking period but if you do, be sure to logout and close the browser.
- Be sure your computer has up-to-date virus protection and scan your computer regularly - especially if you use a PC. Trojans and worms can infect your computer and use keystrokes and other tactics to get your bank credentials.
- Change your password regularly and do not make it obvious (birthdays or other personal information that someone may be able to guess are a bad idea).
- Do not ignore your account. Check it frequently to make sure you do not see any strange account activity.
- Be sure to check or follow up if you see a strange transaction. Banks are required by Reg E to cover losses beyond $50 as long as you contact them within 2 days of receiving a statement. Stay on top of your account.
- Disable the ability for your browser to remember your username and password for any bank sites you use.
Have other tips? Share them below. Here's to safe online banking!