Online Banking Precautions You Cannot Ignore

Banking, with its rigid rules, detailed procedures, odious paperwork, and technical jargon, was always considered as something best left to our parents to worry about. While banking processes have not become simpler, improvements in technology have made it easier and more convenient to perform routine transactions.

However, we make the mistake of ignoring simple and basic measures and precautions that can help us avoid falling prey to cyber thefts. One does not have to be a computer genius to know that accessing online banking account through a computer infected with viruses, Trojans, keylogger programs, and malwares can result in theft of private and confidential banking information. Phishers and Vishers may use a combination of poor security and social engineering to steal your identity and all your money. But somehow do not take the necessary precautions.

Here are some precautions one must keep in mind when using online banking services or when using Internet payment systems involving your bank.

Use a Secure Computer

The importance of using a secure device with an updated antivirus and antimalware program cannot be over exaggerated. A secure computer will protect your private information even if you accidently allow cyber criminals to install a malicious code in your computer.

Real-time scanning and protection will resolve the problem before any significant damage takes place. Accessing your online bank account or making payments online on an unsecured computer will

Use Banking-Specific Safety Features

Computer-safety programs have started offering in-built banking-centric safety features like a virtual safety environment that provides continuous protection against phishing, key logger programs, and identity-theft attempts when you are accessing your banking account through your computer.

Use On-Site Security Features

Most banking sites allow you to enter your user id and password through on-site virtual keyboard instead of your computer’s keyboard. This will help you minimize the risk of your login and password details being tracked or logged by malicious programs.

Verify Authenticity Of the Banking Site

Type the bank’s address in your browser’s address bar instead of using links received in emails and chat messages. This will ensure you don’t submit private information to a fraudulent site. Further, verify the site’s authenticity by ensuring that the site has been verified by an independent authentication service like VeriSign.

Use Multi-Step Authentication

Go beyond the conventional authentication process that requires the user to submit a transaction password to confirm the transaction. Instead, opt for multi-step authentication that involves entry of a One-Time Password sent by the bank to the registered phone number, or submission of a third password. This will ensure cyber criminals cannot access your account even if they steal your login details.

Ensure Data Transmission is Encrypted

The presence of ‘https’ in the address bar is proof that the data being transmitted between the server and your computer has been encrypted. This means the information you transmit can be read and understood only by the bank’s server. Any third-party hacking into the transmission cannot decrypt and access the information.

Secure Account-Reset Data

Instead of the bank account details, phishers and vishers focus on data and information that can be used to reset your online banking account. Banks allow users to reset their login and transaction passwords by submitting additional information like PAN data, date of birth, and other personal details. Disclosing information like your mother’s maiden name or your first car’s license number can be as risky as disclosing your login or transaction password to a stranger.

It is not very difficult to protect your online banking account. You just need to use common-sense precautions, a secure computer, and the security features available on the site to keep your details safe.

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