Banking online is convenient, but there are risks. Here are 6 key tips.
Online banking has become so convenient and widespread, it’s a wonder tellers and branches even exist anymore. But all that ease and speed doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Banking online can be risky business, especially if you’re not taking the proper precautions. Here are 6 ways you can protect yourself when banking online.
1. Avoid using a public computer.
Though you may feel you need to check your balance at the library or duck into an internet café to review transactions while on vacation, it’s best to avoid public computers. For one, you don’t know what types of spying software or viruses are already loaded on that computer. Secondly, you never know who might be watching over your shoulder. Thirdly, if you forget to log out of your account when you’re done, you may be leaving your funds exposed to the next person who uses the computer.
2. Consider 2-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication means that you need two different ways to access your secured online account. For example, to log in, your bank may require that you enter your password and then type in a code texted to your phone. If your bank offers this feature, using it will strengthen the security of your account.
3. Consider using a trusted password manager.
There are several companies that will securely store all your passwords behind one master password you create. Using a reputable service like this can be a great way to keep track of all your passwords, including ones you use to bank online. More importantly, it may make it much easier for you to come up with different, strong passwords for each site login you use.
4. Turn notifications on.
It may be a good idea to log into your bank’s site, go to settings and turn on notifications for things like large-withdrawal alerts, card-not-present notifications and other ways to stay informed about potentially suspicious actions.
5. Use the bank’s updated mobile app.
If your bank has a mobile app, it may offer better protection than access through your browser. Just make sure you’re updating your apps regularly so you’re using the latest version with the latest security enhancements.
6. Look for “https”.
If your online banking site doesn’t have an “https” at the beginning of its web address, steer clear. “Https” means the site is encrypted, which all secure banks should already be offering to their online customers.
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