10 safety tips for online banking
Jan 09, 2024 01:05
Keep your log-in details to yourself. Don't let anyone else use them, even if they ask nicely (or demand). If you suspect someone else knows your password or has used it without permission, change it immediately.
- Your computer is full of potential dangers. Viruses and Trojans can be acquired by simply visiting the wrong website; malware may already be on your PC; spyware could operate undetected - avoiding these risks is hard but well worth the effort (see our guides for tips on staying safe online). Minimize the risk of infection by using a firewall and antivirus software at all times - never disable security features unless absolutely necessary .
- You should also tighten up your browser security settings (which are often set too high by default). The key security features here are anti-phishing protection, pop-up blocking and HTTPS .
- Make it harder for thieves to steal your money by using bank-provided security software (such as McAfee Security or InternetSecure). These tools prevent unauthorised withdrawals from your account when you bank online.
- Always use strong passwords with different combinations of letters, numbers and symbols - don't forget about spaces if you're doing this manually! Password managers can generate random but memorable strings for you; they're not perfect solutions but they do help avoid reusing easy-to-remember passwords across multiple accounts. Even better: think about two-factor authentication , where your password alone is not enough to access an account.
- Be careful what you download online. Some trojans will disguise themselves as, say, a piece of porn or warez to trick you into executing them - so don't click links or open attachments unless you know they are safe (and remember the golden rule: never enter your password on a site which you didn't type in yourself). If in doubt, leave it out!
- Never use free wi-fi for anything banking related . Always connect to your home broadband instead - if somebody's trying to steal passwords over the local network then that's much harder for them.
- Shred any documents containing sensitive information before throwing them! Data recovery tools can recover deleted files so it's best not to take any chances.
- When sending sensitive information by email, check that the message has been encrypted and sent from a safe machine and domain (just because an email came from your bank doesn't mean it's safe - spoofed email is very common). If you're in doubt about where the message originated from, call up your bank and ask them for more info. You could also encrypt important messages yourself with something like GNU Privacy Guard .
- Always change your password if somebody else gets hold of it - even if they haven't used it yet! Remember: only fools trust strangers online! Unless you know who someone is there's no way to be sure they are who they say they are...