Online banking is one of the best productivity tools out there. It decrees physical paperwork, saves time, and helps make sure all of your financial information is accurate and secure. It's much easier to track a budget and offers lots of different ways to stay on top of your finances. Unfortunately, online banking also presents its own security risks. To bank online safely, here are some tips to save you the trouble of hacked accounts and identity theft.
• Try to use the same computer every time you access your account. Using your login information on more than one machine increases the chances that someone could hack in and gain access.
• Try to make the computer you use one that will travel with you. Using a laptop for online banking means that even when you're not at home, you will not have to use your login information on a strange machine. This being said, do not leave your laptop unattended, especially if you're logged into a banking site or recently have been.
• If you absolutely have to use an online banking site from a strange computer, make sure to log out, shut down the browser, and clear all cookies and temporary files when you're done.
• Use a unique password. Yes, it is convenient to have the same password for all of your online accounts, but it's also a major security risk. Do not use your online banking password for anything else; it may not be a major disaster if someone hacks your Twitter account, but do not let that mean they have access to all your money, too.
• Do not let your password be something easy to guess. That means no using anniversary dates, birthdays, your last name, your phone number, or any identifying information.
• Change your password often, at the very least every six months. Even if you password is unique and impossible to guess, it's a possibility that a key logger or other malware could pick up your password.
• As obvious as it may be, it bears repeating: do not share your banking password with anyone. Even if it's someone you trust, that information transfer could allow someone else to gain access to your account without your permission.
• Do not use your mother's maiden name for the security question. That's an easy piece of information to find on the Internet.
• Never respond to an email that requests for you to reply with your bank account number, your social security number, your log in information, or any other sensitive information. Legitimate institutions will not do this. These emails are phishing scams designed to gain access to your online banking information.
• Invest in good anti-virus software for your computer and keep it updated. This will help protect you from any malware or viruses that could find their way onto your computer and into your personal and banking information.
• Keep all software on your computer up-to-date. Software updates are often security fixes. The notifications telling you to update and the install / restart time may be annoying, but they're often crucible to keeping your computer secure.
• Pay attention to your bank or financial institution's log in page. If something appears to have changed, you may have clicked on an illegitimate link (this is especially true if you followed a link from an email).
• Do not enter personal information into a pop-up, even if you're on the institution's legitimate website.
• Be careful when opening email attachments, even if they appear to be from someone you know. Always double check to see if the person intends to send you an attachment, and delete emails with attachments from unknown sources.
• Be aware of common current email scams by checking websites like onguardonline.gov.
• Shop online only at reputable sites. If you're giving any credit card or payment information, it should be somewhere trusted, often through PayPal, which is secure. Double check this, and if you're not sure, err on the side of caution and find somewhere else to buy what you need.
Source by Nathan Jansch