Online internet banking has created a convenient way for us to handle our business without leaving our home. There are inherent dangers associated with internet banking. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Most banks have safeguards against hacking, but your personal computer may not have the sophisticated technology that the banks incorporate. If you don’t have a good spy-ware detection and elimination program installed on your computer then you could be advertising your personal information to those who will do harmful things with it. Be sure your computer is up to date and safe against hacker attacks.
One of the lesser thought about dangers is the actual information. Many banks offer up to the minute transaction activity, and others don’t. It’s a slippery slope if we start relying on the balance information shown on our internet accounts, we could easily overdraft our accounts. Many people will toss out the check registers, and with debit cards, this can be very easy to forget to update them if we do keep them.
You need to make sure that your bank has completely secure log in areas. It’s unfortunately not uncommon to end up with a virus that redirects your web browser to a mirrored site. These sites can look identical to the banks sites. Many sites that hold sensitive information have included extra security measures that are hard to mimic. Even though they are hard to mimic they aren’t fool proof. Ensure you know the banks log in address and that your browser was pointed there before you log in. Also keep your virus protection up to date to help avoid this.
Chances are your bank will not ask for secure information through an email. If you receive an email from your bank asking you to log in, don’t click the link provided in the email. Instead open a new browser window and log in to your banking account that way. One of the easiest ways for your information to be compromised is to click a link and enter your information on a site that looks like your banks but actually isn’t.
Fly by Night Banks
A simple internet search can reveal thousands of banks you’ve probably never heard of offering high interest rates accounts with very little deposit required. The problem with this is that you are putting your personal information, and your money, in danger by signing up for these. Be leery of any account offering high interest rates and very little customer service. These companies may only exist to steal your information, and will disappear when they’ve done that.
Usernames and Passwords
It’s tempting to use one username and password for all your online accounts, but this really isn’t smart. If an email account is hacked, then the person who got the information now has all the information they need to steal your money from under your nose. You need to change your usernames and passwords frequently.