Most Americans now use online banking to access their accounts. According to a 2019 survey by the American Bankers Association, 73% of Americans use an online bank account.
While having online accounts can make life much more convenient, there are security threats that you must consider. Hence, you should know how to protect your online accounts.
If you are not careful about security, there is a greater risk of your account getting hacked or your personal information stolen. This can create massive problems for you, so you should always be careful. Hackers can use fraudulent wire transfers to drain money from your account. If someone steals your personal and financial information, they could use it to fraudulently open credit cards using your name and use them for shopping.
Online banking security is something to be treated seriously. Since the money in your account results from all your hard work, you should do all you can to protect it.
Banks use 256- bit SSL data encryption and other security measures to keep your information safe. There are other steps that you, the customer, should take to keep your online account secure.
Using Strong and Unique Passwords
You may have heard it many times already. But choosing strong and unique passwords is paramount for your online safety. If your passwords are not unique and strong, you could create space for hackers to make their move.
Here are some very common mistakes that people make when choosing an online banking password.
- Using personal information such as date of birth, address or name.
- Not keeping longer passwords
- Using easy to guess words of easy number combinations
- Using one password for multiple accounts –is something that an overwhelming number of customers do.
- Failing to change passwords regularly
Most of the mistakes mentioned above are for the sake of keeping passwords simple and easy to remember. However, such passwords are also simpler for hackers to guess.
Here are some tips that you can follow for keeping strong passwords that will make your online bank accounts more secure.
- Use longer passwords that are comprised of a phrase rather than just one word
- Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase characters.
- Use special characters and numbers
- Don’t use common combinations that are easy to guess, like 123.
- Don’t use personal information that can be guessed easily. So avoid using your date of birth, your name or the name of your pet.
- Don’t store username and password in the mobile or online banking app.
You should also take care to ensure that you change your online account passwords at regular intervals. You should change them at least once every 3 to 6 months. This will reduce the chances of hackers decoding or guessing your password.
One of the best things you can do is get a reliable password manager that can simplify storing complicated, longer and secure passwords.
Two-factor authentication can keep your online bank accounts even more secure. If your bank allows it, you should take advantage of 2-factor authentication in addition to keeping stronger and more secure passwords.
With 2 factor authentication, you get an extra layer of security. This is essential for bolstering the effectiveness of your passwords.
Instead of going through just one step to access your account, 2 steps are needed with 2-factor authentication. So even if someone manages to get their hands on your password, there is a smaller chance that they will be able to get past the second step.
The second step could involve identifying a preselected image, confirming your identity via an automated phone call, entering a special code. With this second step to strengthen the first step, it may be much harder for hackers to break into your account.
You must first inquire from your bank whether or not they provide 2-factor authentication. If they do, then you must inquire into the procedure that will allow you to execute it.
Banking Alerts and Messages
When you sign up for online banking, make sure that you also allow your bank to send you alerts whenever there is a transaction in your account. You could receive text and email information whenever a transaction happens in your account. This can help keep your online account safe since you will know instantly if it is an unauthorized transaction.
Do Not Use Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is no doubt convenient. But you cannot rely on it to access your online accounts or to transmit critical information. Public Wi-Fi could face the following security drawbacks.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks. Here, malicious persons can eavesdrop electronically on any critical information that you are sending online. This could include your password and account name.
- Spyware and malware
- Malicious hotspots
- Unencrypted networks lack security for data transmission.
So how do you keep your banking information safe over public Wi-Fi? The answer is simple. Do not use public Wi-Fi for online banking. Never send any of your banking information over public Wi-Fi.
While knowing how to protect your online accounts is essential, you should also know how to save more to have more funds in your accounts.
You can save more via the Doctor Money app designed to help consumers save more and more money each month.
If you are worried about your spending habits and financial issues, then you should use the Doctor Money Money app right away. Even if you feel that you have good spending habits, you can use the app to save more money each month.
Install the Doctor Money app to save more today for a better tomorrow.