More than half of U.S. adults bank online, and about a third of them bank via cell phone. But is online banking safe?
When you bank online, you trust that your account is safe from hackers. Even so, online accounts can seem to consumers like easy targets: Gone are the days of robbing banks, these criminals are taking your hard-earned cash from their laptops. You need to be cautious when dealing with your finances online – So how do you do this?
Here are five online banking security tips to help keep your money and identity safe:
1. Keep a continual eye on your accounts
By monitoring your accounts on a regular basis, you have the opportunity to immediately spot any fraudulent or suspicious activity – and rapidly report it. Get into the habit of monitoring your accounts every few days and always after you’ve done any type of online shopping. Check your account was charged appropriately and that your account number isn’t being used for other purchases you didn’t make.
Even though banks are highly skilled at recognizing fraud, particularly with credit cards, they might not always be able to catch every questionable transaction among every customer, so you should be sure to review your statement monthly.
2. Change your passwords regularly
This simple task won’t take much of your time. Once a month, or bi-monthly get into the routine of going through your accounts and switching out passwords. There’s a key to getting a hack-proof password: Never use a word and always use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Words are too easy to guess, particularly if they’re related to your persona, such as your mother’s maiden name, the street where you live or your pet’s name!
The longer the password, the better. Many government agencies require passwords to be at least 14 characters. Try choosing a well-known verse and add numbers and letters to it that will be easy to remember.
3. Watch out for public Wi-Fi
You’re at the grocery store and want to check your funds quickly… You’re getting some bills paid off online while enjoying coffee at Starbuck’s…
Anytime you are using public Wi-Fi, you have to assume that someone can access your browser history and your password. So if you are doing anything that requires you to log in, such as banking or reading email, you are putting yourself at risk.
Avoid using unsecured wireless access points to jump online and log in to your online accounts. You should access these accounts when you’re certain you have a secure connection. Unsecured wireless access points, such as those found at airports, coffee shops, and supermarkets, are easy to intercept and someone could easily collect the information you’re using to log in.
4. Invest in anti-virus protection software
Use licensed anti-virus software and be sure to regularly check for updates that need applying. Make sure the firewall is turned on so you aren’t vulnerable to any type of virus that might be downloaded and installed from a malicious site.
Either set your computer to check for updates automatically and alert you or plan to check yourself every week. But beware of choosing the updates to happen automatically as downloading manually provides the best protection from malware and viruses. Finally make sure both your home computers and mobile devices are all protected.
5. Watch our for click-through links in emails
ALWAYS type your bank URL every time instead of using email links. Phishing emails redirect the recipient to a malicious website or fraudulent version of the bank’s website and some are designed to collect your username, password, and other personal information.
Don’t be afraid to call your bank to verify whether they sent you an email or if they need to get in touch with you. Never respond to emails that ask to verify your identity by providing your username or password because banks will never ask for this information!
Online banking comes with its own set of risks, but there are also conveniences — monitoring your balances to avoid fees, depositing checks, sending money to friends and family, and earning more interest from online-only banks that feature the best rates. By taking the above precautions you’re eliminating the main risks that hackers use to steal your info and money.
If you found yourself at the hands of a hacker, banks can take up to 45 days to resolve the claim and get you your money back, if you get it back at all. But that leaves you with no cash and bills to pay! Short-term multi-pay loans are a perfect way to respond to unexpected emergencies such as account fraud. At TLC Loans our mission is to provide you with a solution that resolves or bridges your current troubles for an extended period of time and to provide you with a convenient and dependable source for additional cash whenever you need it.
Our application process is simple with next business day funding possible if we get you an approval by 1pm CST. Apply here today.