• Tips for secure online banking

    A lot of the time, just how secure your online banking is, is more to do with how hard your bank is trying, rather than how hard you are trying. After all, nobody is suggesting that you play fast and loose with your online security, but at the end of the day it is not your responsibility to keep online banking secure. The bank is the one that is trusted with your money, and therefore it is their responsibility to keep it safe. However, as previously stated, it is now wise to play fast and loose with your online security, so here are a few tips for safer online banking.

    Make sure nobody can see you logging in
    This is because a little bit of information collected here and there can add up and make stealing your identity a lot easier. Sometimes, a thief may already have a lot of your information, and just requires a little bit more. By allowing that person to see just a tiny snippet of information, you may be handing over access to your bank accounts. Also remember that in public places there are cameras, and this is something to think about if you are the sort of person who takes his/her laptop to cafes and bars and logs in. A slow frame by frame examination of your logging in may provide the staff with all the details they need to steal your money.

    Research the most secure banking services
    Some banks take security more serious than others, and as you may have guessed, it is the bigger banks who can afford to spend more money on security. For example, the HSBC bank provides you with a secure key, which is a Chinese made code creator. Each time you sign in it will give you a code in order to access your accounts. This means that even if someone has all of your details and passwords, they still cannot access your accounts without a code from the secure key.

    Avoid public computers for online banking
    This is not because public computers are not safe, as they are if they are configured correctly. But, it just seems to be common sense that if you are going to log into your bank, that you do not do it on an unfamiliar computer with unknown settings and software on it.

    A secure Wi-Fi network makes for better online security
    This is another common sense factor, but the chances are that your Wi-Fi is already secure. Still, an unstable or shared network is going to pose a slightly bigger security risk.

    Do not leave your computer unattended when logged in
    This is a piece of advice that anybody who is smart should already know. Logging onto your bank account and then leaving it unattended whilst being logged in is sheer idiocy.

    Have antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer
    This is going to help stop any hackers or online thieves from getting your passwords though software or program changes on your own computer. Some people set up viruses and malware to take revenge or to blackmail a company. And, others do it to steal your money by spying on what you do on your computer.

    Make sure your OS is up to date
    Your OS (Operating System) needs to be updated because the older it is then the more chance that it has been hacked by somebody. If it has been hacked then it makes it very easy to gain access to your computer, compared with if you have a newer version of your OS.

    Keep your web browser up to date
    If people are not going to hack your OS, then they are going to try for your web browser. If they are able to mislead you into typing your details into the wrong place, or if they can spy on you as you type, then they will do it through your web browser. There is less chance that the more up to date ones have been hacked yet because they have not been in existence as long.

    Do not write your bank password on anything digital
    The only digital place you should write it is on the banking website when logging in. If you write it down then do it with a pen and paper and keep the password locked in a safe or strong box. It must only come out when you are logging on to your bank, and should be locked away immediately afterwards.

    Keep abreast of your accounts and notice any irregularities
    A common trick it to withdraw a small amount from your account, just a few dollars. They may it something unnoticeable unless you were to check through your account. They will often mask the payment as something innocuous such as an interest payment or payment to a small corner shop.

    If the small transaction is successful then the thief will wait until you have lots of money in your account and make a big withdrawal. If they know a little bit about you then they may know when the most money will be in your account. If not then they will probably wait until the first day of the month, as that is when most people are paid. They will try not to overdraw your account, as they are often blocked, but they will if they can.

    Kate Funk is an expert in teaching Finances and Marketing courses at http://www.tutorsville.net . She coaches individuals in SEO and business networking skills.

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