When people receive payment, shop or pay online, they always look for safety and security for their internet transactions. There are ways to protect yourself when you conduct online banking transactions for your personal safety, privacy and financial security.
Many people had their checking accounts closed due to "internet theft" when conducting their banking transactions online. If you have an online account to any bank then you need to educate yourself of the risks involved and take extra precautions when you conduct financial transactions through any of your online banks.
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Safeguard your online account password and user ID. Never disclose these important data to anyone at any time for any reason and avoid saving them on your computer. Avoid using the "save and remember the password" feature in some browsers and try to change your password from time to time.
Make sure that your account password is really difficult for hackers to guess. Don't type your password while somebody is watching and be swift in changing your password if you think it has been placed in jeopardy.
Assign an effective password that is very hard to guess like by combining alphabets and numbers then use upper and lower case characters with your numbers. Avoid creating easy-to-guess passwords such as birthdays, places and names.
Protect your personal information by not allowing anyone to have access through your computer. Make sure not to disclose any sensitive information like your home address, email address, bank account numbers, mother's maiden name or contact numbers if you think that the sites that you're visiting online cannot be trusted.
Avoid opening any email when you don't know the source or if it appears suspicious in any way. There are people who send emails that use names or logos from trusted financial sites and ask for your sensitive information.
Take note that reliable banks do not conduct business this way so delete e-mails immediately from unknown senders without opening them. Avoid opening attachments because it might carry a virus and get into your computer in order to track your personal information.
Maintain up-to-date anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware programs and the latest patches for your computer. You need to install an effective firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer. Some of the latest anti-virus software programs usually give the best protection to guard against new computer viruses.
Update your trusted browser and operating system by downloading the latest versions which features new security improvements. There are recent threats and malicious programs that may enter anytime in your computer which cannot easily be detected and removed by most common and free anti-virus programs so consider installing an anti-spyware that is well-enhanced.
Make sure that you are in the right website when you conduct your online banking transactions. When you're visiting a financial website, check if it has a Universal Resource Locators (URLs) which begins with "https". You also need to check if it includes a closed padlock icon on the status bar as displayed in the browser.
If you want to confirm the authenticity of your financial site, you may double-click on the lock icon to see their security certificate information. It would be better to manually type the URL address bar of your financial website rather than clicking any hyperlink to access it.
Keep track of your online banking transactions by reviewing all of your account statements and verifying regularly the charges to check for any suspicious activity. You should immediately notify your online bank for any unauthorized transactions or errors in your account through their customer service.
Make sure to log-off when leaving your computer unattended or if you're finished with your online transactions. Make it a habit to clear your computer's cache by deleting the history of the web sites that you have visited so that you could also delete your transaction history inside the computer's memory. This is another way of preventing hackers from accessing your personal account information.
Avoid clicking anything from websites that offer false opportunities to make fast and easy money or emails from an unknown person asking for financial assistance overseas. If you receive any suspicious emails then you can forward a copy of the suspicious email to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
If you were able to disclose some financial information to a fraudulent website then you should immediately file reports with your bank, the local police, Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov) or the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov). In this way, you may be able to protect further, your other online accounts.
Tips & Warnings
Read and study your bank's information about its online privacy policies and practices. Generally, banks are required by law to send you a copy of their annual privacy policies and practices. Check their methods used for encrypting online transactions and authenticating user information.
Pay your online transactions using credit cards since this could offer more protection. A lot of people who want to feel secure when they make online transactions use a credit card because it usually gives stronger protection against personal liability claims compared to debit cards.
Always verify email correspondence if you receive anything from your online bank. If your online bank account is compromised, take action immediately by reporting it.
Never provide your password or any of your personal information via email. Be careful of any email or website pretending to represent as your online bank that ask you to provide personal and financial information. A reliable online bank will never ask you to provide your internet banking password and user ID via email.
Avoid the temptation in accessing online banking services in public location or areas. You should also avoid opening other browser windows while you're doing online banking transactions. Do not use the "file and printer sharing" feature on your computer during your online banking session so that you will not jeopardize your sensitive information to be accessed by anyone.