Over the past few years more and more consumers and even business owners have started relying on the Internet to do their online banking and day-to-day transactions. If you do conduct your banking online, you may or may not be aware of how incredibly easy it can be for a stranger to access all of your important information whenever you enter it into a laptop or computer.
In order to stay safe while you maintain your online bank accounts or even shop online, here are five tricks you should follow each time you enter your important information into an online database:
1. Read the fine print
It may seem fairly obvious, but this point cannot be stressed enough. When doing your banking, the majority of bank and/or legitimate sites have an “About Us” section that is either listed on the bottom or top of their home page screen. Be sure to click on this link to read up on information about the bank, any policies that you should be aware of, as well as its official name and address. It may also be a good idea to find important information about insurance coverage if you are worried that you have become a victim of identity theft as well.
2. Install spyware on your computer
Having a firewall or antivirus program installed on your computer can prevent someone from stealing your personal information and can even protect you from phishing scams or fake websites.
3. Avoid using shared computers
This may be difficult if you use someone else’s computer or if you access your online bank account when you are at work, so if you absolutely need to make sure you are always logged off and you close your browser before you leave the computer.
And most importantly, make sure your passwords are never electronically saved in the computer’s database otherwise the next user may be able to access all of your online accounts.
4. https instead of http
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), so whenever you do your online banking make sure the address in your browser has “https” at the beginning or a yellow color lock symbol, and make sure it supports high encryption (like 128-bit) as well.
5. Stay updated
Whenever you get a notification on your computer asking you to do a security update on your operating system or web browser, then do it. This will help keep your computer/laptop stay protected, and will also help you stay top of the latest security tools and developments for your system at the same time.
It’s also important to note that you should never respond to an e-mail that is asking you for your personal banking information, as this will most certainly be spam. If you notice that there is money missing from your account, make sure you notify your bank as soon as possible, as any good bank usually considers personal or identity fraud a prime priority when it comes to dealing with customers.