Tips for Safe Internet Banking

Tips for Safe Internet Banking

Whether it is bill payments, funds transfer or creation of a fixed deposit, internet banking allows you to do it in a fast and convenient way. Instead of going to the bank and waiting in an unending queue, internet banking has made all banking functions accessible through a few clicks. However, this facility needs to be used very carefully due to the risk of phishing – fraudulent means of attaining your confidential banking information.

Listed below are some smart tips for internet banking.

  • Choose an account with two factor authentication

Try to get a bank account that offers some form of two factor authentication for online    banking.

These days many, but not all, banks offer a small device that can be used to generate a unique code each time you log in. This code is only valid for a very short period of time and is required in addition to your login credentials in order to gain access to your online account.

  • Change your password regularly

For the first time you login to your internet banking account, you will need to use the password provided by the bank. However, you need to change this password in order to keep your account safe. In addition, keep changing your password at regular intervals. More importantly, keep the password confidential at all times.

Whether it is bill payments, funds transfer or creation of a fixed deposit, internet banking allows you to do it in a fast and convenient way. Instead of going to the bank and waiting in an unending queue, internet banking has made all banking functions accessible through a few clicks. However, this facility needs to be used very carefully due to the risk of phishing – fraudulent means of attaining your confidential banking information.

  • Change your password regularly

For the first time you login to your internet banking account, you will need to use the password provided by the bank. However, you need to change this password in order to keep your account safe. In addition, keep changing your password at regular intervals. More importantly, keep the password confidential at all times.

  • Do not use public computers to login

Avoid logging in to your bank account at common computers in cyber cafes or libraries. These are crowded places, and there are more chances of your password being traced or seen by others. If you have to login from such places, make sure you clear the cache and browsing history, and delete all the temporary files from the computer. Also, never allow the browser to remember your ID and password.

  • Do not share your details with anyone

Your bank will never ask for your confidential information via phone or email. So whether you get an apparent phone call from the bank or an email requesting your details, do not give out your login information. Use your login ID and password only on the official login page of the bank, which should be a secure website. Look for ‘https://’ in the URL when logging in; it means that the website is secure.

  • Keep checking your savings account regularly

Check your account after making any transaction online. Verify whether the right amount has been deducted from your account. If you see any discrepancies in the amount, inform the bank immediately.

  • Always use licenced anti-virus software

To protect your computer from new viruses, ensure that you always use licenced anti-virus software. Pirated versions of anti-virus softwares may be available for free, but they may fail to protect your computer from new viruses prevalent in the online world. In addition, you will get notifications for updates in the software periodically. Make sure that you keep your anti-virus updated, so that your confidential information is always protected.

  • Disconnect the internet connection when not in use

Most broadband users do not disconnect the internet connection on their computer when they are not using it. Malicious hackers can access your computer via an internet connection and steal your confidential banking information. To keep your data protected, ensure that you disconnect from the internet when you do not require it.

  • Type your internet banking URL

It is a safer to type your bank URL in the address bar of the browser than clicking on links given in an email. There are instances of fraudsters sending emails with fraudulent websites links that are designed exactly like the bank’s original website. Once you enter your login details on such a website, they may be used to access your account and steal your money. While logging on, check for ‘https://’ in the URL and ensure that it is your bank’s authentic website.

  • Avoid clicking through emails

No financial institution worth their salt will send you an email asking you to provide any of your login details.

If you receive an email that appears to be from your bank that asks for such details then treat it with suspicion as it may well be a phishing attempt to trick you into handing your credentials over.

Likewise, be aware of links in emails that appear to be from your bank – this is a trick often employed by the bad guys to get you onto a website that looks like your bank. When you log in to ‘your account’ they will steal your username and password and, ultimately, your cash.

It is always safer to access your online bank account by typing the address into your browser directly.

Also, be aware of unsolicited phone calls that purport to be from your bank. While your financial institution may require you to answer a security question, they should never ask for passwords or PINs (they may ask for certain letters or numbers from them, but never the whole thing).

If in doubt, do not be afraid to hang up and then call your bank back via a telephone number that you have independently confirmed as being valid.

The above tips should go a long way to ensuring that you enjoy the advantages offered by online banking without experiencing any of the pitfalls.

If you have any more advice to add to this, please do so in the comments below.

Safe banking to you all!

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