Wells Fargo introduced the first online bank in 1995, and from there it was an upward spiral.
Online banking has transformed our lives in more ways than we could have ever imagined. Before online banking, you had no choice but to go to the bank, queue up, and wait for your turn to be served. Online banking changed all that.
With the click of a mouse or simply swiping on your phone, you can do online banking, which allows you to pay bills or apply for loans or mortgages. However, a simple mistake can lead to your account being wiped clean by cybercriminals. Make sure you avoid these mistakes and protect your valuable assets.
Neglecting your accounts
Hackers sometimes make very subtle moves that you may not even notice at first glance.
If you have a habit of neglecting your account, you need to start paying attention. Spend a few minutes every day to monitor the activities in your savings and checking accounts.
This way, you can spot any suspicious transactions and stop the criminals before they make away with your hard-earned cash. If you notice a purchase or payment you did not make, call your credit union or bank and ask them to clarify.
Being casual with your phone
Our phones hold a lot of sensitive data, and we use them for various tasks, such as calling, texting, and online banking.
If you need to make a transaction, ensure you use the bank’s official website or use the bank’s official apps. Go to the bank’s site and check for a link to their banking app, as this is safer than using the web browser.
If the bank has no app, download a VPN to log into the bank’s website via a browser. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software that creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. If you are browsing on a public Wi-Fi hotspot, the VPN hides your location and IP address and encrypts all your communication.
If a hacker is spying on the public network, they cannot decipher your data. The VPN used by banks is 256-bit encryption, which is also used by the U.S government to send classified data.
Setting weak passwords
If hackers successfully compromise a large retailer and make away with clients’ passwords, they use bots to log into accounts held in large banks. If you use the same username and weak password across different accounts, you risk losing a lot.
Look for a unique username and password for your bank’s official website. The use of the same password across accounts, including social media accounts means one hacking encounter can expose your financial data to risk.
Update the banking app password often, and keep the cybercriminals guessing by using a unique combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters and numbers. Steer clear of obvious passwords such as a child or pet name, or dates such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Ignoring security features
If hackers compromise your account, and you have not enrolled in email and text alert services, the hacker can use your data for more than 75%. This gives them enough time to cause a lot of damage before they are discovered.
Use these free services for your protection, and the good thing is they do not flood your email with spam. Some credit unions and banks use these alerts to inform their clients when their bank balances fall below the recommended amount. These alerts keep you from overspending and having to pay overdraft fees.
Online banking seems like a minefield. Banks spend millions of dollars in strengthening their online security. The convenience of online banking cannot be overstated, but you also have to play your part in online security as well.
Your bank might be very well protected, and the hacker only needs to use your carelessness to wipe your accounts clean. Doing your part to keep your hard-earned cash is also your responsibility as well as the banks.