Top 5 Online Banking Safety Tips

banking tips

Online banking has reached the point where it is almost as common place as getting in the car and going to the physical bank. With online banking, you can deposit checks, check account balances and even make transfers. Not only that, but some banks allow you to download an application for your computer and smartphone that will give you alerts when you have made big purchases, when automatic payments have been made and even when your account balance is too low. These alerts are great, because it can reduce bank fees and other overdraft protection costs. However, one of the biggest downsides of online banking is that you have to take bigger measures to protect yourself from piracy and theft. Here are the top five online banking safety tips.

  1. Never click on anything you don’t trust. Many hackers use a method called phishing to gather passwords and usernames for bank accounts. Basically, when you click on a link, you might be brought to a separate page where you will be asked for your user name and password. What happens is that nothing happens when you do enter the information, but now your protected information is in the hands of hackers who might use that information to steal money or they might sell the information to a third party.
  2. Always look at the URL. Sometimes you can get brought to the wrong URL. This is another phishing strategy. What happens is that you type in the address, but what you actually get is a mirrored site. Basically, the site looks identical to your online banking site. In order to avoid this, make sure to always pay attention to the url. If there is an extra letter or if there is a suspicious domain extension, you should probably click elsewhere.
  3. Never bank on a public computer or on a public network. If you are at a cafe or a library that doesn’t require a passcode, there is a good chance that the network is not protected. If you want to avoid getting your account hacked into, you never want to bank or share passwords over an unprotected network. You can usually detect an unprotected network by whether or not there is a little lock symbol next to the network name. If there isn’t, it would be smart to wait to do your online banking.
  4. If you do bank on a public network, always sign out and then refresh the browser. When it comes to banking on a public network, it isn’t always the hacker that can access your information, it is also people who go on the computer after you. So, if you want to protect your information, be sure to erase the history and refresh the browser, especially if you are at an Internet café or library.
  5. Always make sure to deposit checks safely. Even if you use for all your checkbooks, it is important to make deposits with safety in mind. Even though you can deposit checks using your smart phone, you can still open the risk for theft. So, staying cautious is your best bet.