Cyber security is an issue that affects us all, which is why it is crucial to understand how to keep your banking information safe online. By taking a few simple precautions such as using secure Wi-Fi and creating difficult passwords, you can rest assured your private information and account numbers will stay protected.
Browse on Secure Networks
While most of us have grown accustomed to using apps and browsing online from any location, it’s important to save banking tasks for when you’re on secure networks. Avoid checking your account or sending money while using a public computer or free Wi-Fi, especially networks that do not require a password login. These networks are more susceptible to attack, so only log in to your bank while at home or on a password-protected internet provider.
When banking, be sure the website has a “https” at the start (rather than “http”); the “s” stands for secure, and safeguards you against dangerous situations.
Keep Information Private
Never share your personal identity information online unless you initiated a conversation with a trusted source. Do not respond to emails or phone calls insisting you must share your address, birth date, social security number, or account numbers, as they could be phishing attacks trying to get your private details.
Also, make sure your passwords are not easy to guess, and use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters. The more complicated the password, the more difficult it will be to crack. Many web browsers allow you to generate a random secure password when creating accounts -- tracking them in a password manager adds another level of security and means you don’t need to remember them.
Check Your Accounts Regularly
Staying on top of your account balances will help alert you to possible fraudulent transactions. If you notice an unauthorized payment, contact your bank immediately to freeze your account and assess the situation.
You may also want to consider using e-statements rather than paper statements for your monthly balances. E-statements come straight to your inbox, while paper statements could be stolen from your mailbox. Cutting down on your paper trail limits the ability for scammers to find your account numbers.