Let me start by asking you a simple question – Should you be banking online?
Well, you may be in the position where you have no option but to bank online because the local bank branch has pulled itself from your town.
But, in reality, banking online is a good thing.
They offer convenience, giving business owners the ability to access a bank account on a mobile device or computer. They tend to also be associated with lower fees, and they offer pretty much the same services and the best part of it, there are no queues and they are open 24-hours access.
Digital online banking has grown so much in the last decade that the business world looks at it as a normal standard.
When you think about banks, you may conjure up an image of massive vaults of cash behind impregnable steel doors requiring multiple passcodes and combinations to gain entry. However, that isn’t the reality in the digital world.
Online banks deal in digital transactions and have some of the toughest digital countermeasures available. The type of security that’s in place for an online bank is really the same for any other bank in which you can facilitate your transactions online. Apart from cash withdrawals or deposits, most people use the online bank to send and receive digital transactions (wire transfer). So, in reality, it’s very much the same.
But the question still remains, how safe are they?
While the simplification and easy use of an online bank can be alluring to a business or an entrepreneur, those features tend to come with some major caveats.
When you think about it, the Internet is a vast area network of computers connected around the world to facilitate data transmission and exchange. Due to the open nature of the Internet, all web-based services such as online banking are inherently subject to risks such as online theft of your user ID/username, password, virus attacks, hacking, unauthorised access and fraudulent transactions.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
Here are a number of essential steps to consider
Never access your online banking accounts through hyperlinks in e-mails, pop-up windows, or search engines. Don’t trust it!
Always access your account by typing the web address in the address bar of the browser or by selecting the bookmark for the genuine website.
Be aware of unexpected hoax and scam e-mails with attachments and be aware of suspicious web sites.
Never respond to emails asking you to click or open attachments that you did not ask first.
Never respond to threats and urgency requests. They are most likely a hoax in getting you to act.
Never give out your password. Do not share your passwords.
Do not use your date of birth, phone number, address, your name or name of a friend/pet/relative in your password.
Do not use your online banking password for anything else (ex. Email)!
Never connect to your online banking while connecting in public WiFi areas. You never know whether the Wifi used in public places are fraudulent. If you do need to connect, use your mobile “personal hotspot”.
Never leave your computer unattended while logged on to online banking.
Always log out of your accounts after you have finished your banking session.
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