5 Tips for Making Your Online Banking More Secure

It’s expected that mobile/online banking users will surpass the 4 billion mark in 2020. The number of people using online banking from their home computer is even higher than that presently. Much higher.

A lot of people hesitate to bank from their mobile devices—and I have to admit I’m one of them. But I bank and pay bills from my desktop without hesitation and have since the dawn of online banking.

And you know what? Even for all the knowledge I have and the research I do on cybersecurity, I’m still probably not 100 percent protected when I bank online.

Let’s talk for a bit about 5 ways me and you can make sure we’re secure when banking online.

Use a VPN

VPNs are becoming more and more popular as people realize how important their functionality is. The first measure of defense. It will offer is to obscure or hide all of your traffic while online. This means that no one will be able to spy on where you visit, or be able to find your password and login information under certain circumstances. The second benefit of a VPN is that all of your data is encrypted. So right there, you have a twofold layer of protection while conducting any sort of online banking.

There are several VPNs you can try but I recommend that you download NordVPN app and give it a try.

Two Factor Authentication

If your bank or any site that you visit for that matter, offers two-factor authentication, take advantage of it. Some may feel that taking this extra step to log in is annoying and time wasting, but it’s actually a very powerful way of protecting your account. Without that extra step of verification or authentication, no one is able to access your account. And to save time, if you always log into your account from a specific device, you can set it up so that that device is recognized, and the authentication step can be bypassed.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

on the surface, public or free Wi-Fi may seem like a wonderful thing. Especially if you don’t have a great data plan. However, public Wi-Fi is not secure and when you access it, you have no idea who else can see the data that you’re transmitting. So places like coffee shops, restaurants, airports, hotels, anywhere that offers public Wi-Fi are a potential trap because hackers know they can sit in these places amongst all kinds of unwary people and steal their information.

So if you must do any sort of online transaction when you’re away from your own secure home or work network, use your data plan, not public Wi-Fi. However, the VPN mentioned above will also help in this situation. You can freely use public Wi-Fi if you log into a VPN first.

Strong Passwords

Only use strong, complex passwords. Many are doing this already, but there are a few other steps you should be aware of. First of all, don’t use that strong password in more than one place. Every website or app that you log into should have its own unique password. It’s also important that passwords be changed regularly. Some suggest a three months cycle for this and setting up some form of a reminder for yourself to follow this cycle.

Passwords can become a lot of work over time, especially if you have a lot of them. I suggest using a password manager, which will not only create strong passwords but also store them for you. And when it comes time to change them, it’s a simple process.

5 critical steps to secure online banking

Be Alert for Phishing Emails

If you get an email claiming to be from your bank and recommending you log into your account via a provided link to provide some sort of maintenance, it’s good advice to just ignore it. You can also hover over the link and confirm the address before clicking it, or log directly into your bank from your browser without using the link.

Phishing emails are very common and those who send them do an excellent job of making these emails appear to be legit, to the extent of using logos and verbiage that belongs to your bank. Over time they continue to get more and more sophisticated. If you do follow one of these links, you put your bank account in jeopardy since their objective is to get your login information.

Talk to Your Bank

You are well within your rights to find out the extent your bank is doing to keep your records safe and secure. You should be able to find this information on their website, but you could also contact their customer service and do some research about the types of encryption technology they use and the extent of monitoring they do for fraudulent activity on accounts. You should also find out what kind of limitations or liability is in place for unauthorized transactions.
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