Online Banking – How To Stay Safe

Your financial data is incredibly important and, of course, deeply personal. Cyber criminals are finding new ways of infiltrating personal information, so it’s vital that you keep yourself protected. Emails and correspondence from your bank may seem legitimate, but criminals are crafty. Today’s blog highlights ways to stay safe when using online banking.

Phishing Emails

You may receive emails from your bank urging you to verify your account details by clicking through to their website. These types of phishing emails will lead you to a fake website that is identical to the official one, and when you submit your details, you’re actually handing them over to a criminal.

Banks will never ask you for your personal details by email or phone. Treat any email claiming to be from your bank as suspicious, and never click any links that lead to the website – always type your bank’s web address into your browser directly.

Malware Attacks

Malware is any piece of software that could be considered harmful to a computer. It is often installed onto your computer without your knowledge, and is used to steal data, corrupt files and generally cause hassle. Spyware is a type of malware that monitors your activity and is capable of logging your keystrokes and stealing your online banking account details.

To avoid falling victim to spyware attacks, ensure that you have up-to-date antivirus software installed. Keep it regularly updated and run scans often. As well as this, use your common sense when using your computer – don’t open attachments from unknown email addresses, don’t visit any suspicious or untrusted websites, and never give out any personal details.

Public Wifi

Using unsecure wifi hotspots can put you at risk. An unsecured wireless network is any network that doesn’t require credentials to log in. Hackers use what’s known as a Man in the Middle attack to intercept your connection and steal any data you’ve transmitted over the network. If you were to log in to your online banking through an unsecure hotspot, your data could be in danger.  Try to avoid visiting websites that require your usernames and passwords in public – save that for when you’re at home.

To summarise, use your online banking with caution. Never give out your details to anyone, and if you need to write details down to remember them, keep them in a safe place that nobody knows about.

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