Aug 20, 2008
Suggestions for Safe Internet Banking
by Bi3ard / General
As use of the Internet expands, more banks are using it to offer products and services to their consumers. However, despite Web potential for safe and convenient new ways for financial services and banking business, the scary truth is that online banking fraud is on the rise and there are a number of ways it can be done.
Also, there are a number of ways how you can protect your credit card and bank account if you transact over the internet.
Check the Bank
First, you have to confirm that an online bank is legitimate and that your deposits are insured. You will do that if you follow these steps:
1. Read key information about the bank posted on its Web site
Most Banks’ Web sites have an "About Us" section that describes the institution. There can be found useful info about history of the bank, name and address of the bank’s headquarters, insurance, etc.
2. Protect yourself from fraudulent Web sites
Watch out for copycat Web sites that deliberately use a name or Web address very similar to, but not the same as, that of a real financial institution. The intent is to lure you into clicking onto their Web site and giving your personal information, such as your account number and password. Always check to see that you have typed the correct Web site address for your bank before conducting a transaction.
Also, fraud can be done through the spam emails you receive every day. Although, the link in those emails can be the same of your bank, always check the validity of the links. That means that fraudulent links will be different from the “bank” links in the mail. that can be checked by simple looking at the bottom of your email client (Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook if you use it) or using the Right Click/Properties option on link itself.
3. Verify the bank’s insurance status
To verify a bank’s insurance status, look for the familiar FDIC logo or the words "Member FDIC" or "FDIC Insured" on the Web site.
To check bank insurance status anywhere in the US, check this link:
Choose and Protect ID and Password
After you chose your bank, you’ll have to create an account. for that you’ll need an ID and a password.
Keep in mind that your security is our top priority, especially in this part which is the most vulnerable to attacks.
While ID is static and can be change usually by the bank per request, you can change your password yourself.
It’s been recommended that you should change your password frequently. Here are some quick password tips:
- Don’t use the same password for everything
- Don’t use a predictable password – Don’t use your birthday , your SSN, your child’s birthday or pet’s name. Use something that makes sense to you and that you will easily remember.
- If you must write down your passwords, store them in a safe place.
- Never give your passwords to anyone
Threats From Outside and Efficient Protection
As a technology-based platform, Internet banking comes with certain challenges in terms of management of technology risks, as shown by a number of Internet banking fraud cases reported all over the world.
Some of those cases come in the form of fake websites that seek to lure bank customers into divulging confidential personal information.
Other cases involve Trojan software or other infectious computer viruses and worms.
To put that simple, Trojan software is a code that is planted in a computer by a fraudster in order to access the personal information of the computer user. The code may be planted in various ways.
Usually it’s when an unsuspecting user clicks on hyperlinks embedded in e-mails or browses a website infected with malicious pop-up advertisements.
Once planted in a computer, Trojan may be activated when the user accesses certain websites. Then it can capture keystrokes of the infected computer, which could lead to leakage of sensitive personal information such as user IDs and passwords.
These are tips that every user of online banking should know:
1. First, bank customers should never access their Internet banking accounts through hyperlinks embedded in e-mails, suspicious pop-up windows, or Internet search engines.
2. Second, as has been said above, users should be aware of opening unexpected e-mails with attachments or click on suspicious links in the emails. Users should access their bank accounts by typing the website addresses at the address bar of the browser, or even better, by bookmarking the genuine website and using that function to access own accounts.
3. Thirdly, it’s a good idea to always have installed personal firewall software and anti-virus and antispyware software, and regularly download the latest updates available. This software will be of great help in defending the users from the attempts by fraudsters to plant harmful viruses or worms in their personal computers.
For the end, there is a resume of the tips for safe internet banking:
- keep your computer secure and the access to it;
- don't send credit card or account details by e-mail;
- reject any email that asks you to follow a link to website and input account details for verification - even if the website looks authentic, its probably a fake replica
- make sure you log out of your online account when finished - especially at work, libraries and net cafes
- deal only with established and reputable merchants;
- only make payments to secure websites - look for the padlock symbol in the bottom-right of your browser and click for details
- if using a new site, do business first in a small way;
- check your accounts and report discrepancies immediately;
- ignore the "remember my password option" on banking and shopping sites
- change your password regularly;
- cancel any card that has been used fraudulently;
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