Tech corner

Five tips for safer internet banking

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We’ve rounded up some top tips on how to stay safe when doing your banking online.

Whilst having the ability to check your bank account at the simple click of a button is super convenient, it’s also an easy way for hackers, scammers and criminals to get hold of your personal details. It can also affect you if you regularly shop online and transfer money to friends.

By following these simple steps, you can be sure to keep your money secure at all times.

 

Think of a really good password

You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but by using a strong password or pin number, you can seriously decrease your risk of getting hacked by a stranger.

Avoid using the same password across all platforms and don’t match your bank account password with the same one you use for Facebook. Use a truly unique word or phrase that is in no way obviously connected to you. For example, stay away from your pet's name, favourite TV show or year of birth.

Secure your network

When surfing the internet at home or at work, you will more than likely be using a password-protected router that encrypts all of your data. However, public Wi-Fi is notoriously less secure and a relatively easy way for hackers to access your personal information.

If you do have to check your account or buy something online whilst in a coffee shop, hotel or any other public Wi-Fi spot, consider investing in a Virtual Private Network. This nifty piece of software creates a secure connection so that you can safely shop until you drop.

 

Be wary

It’s all well and good implementing fancy technology solutions, but you must also be careful with your own actions on the web. Nowadays, a lot of threats come from phishing attacks via emails. Many people are tricked into revealing sensitive data that is then used by criminals for fraudulent purposes.

If you do spot anything strange in your inbox, don’t click on the link, reply or enter any personal information. A common form of this is hackers posing as a colleague or even your bank. It might be worth contacting your work friend or local branch to see whether they really did need some information from you. The same goes for private messages on social media that look a bit dodgy.

 

Shop securely

Again, if you smell something fishy about a site that you’re about to purchase something from, don’t check out. Only buy things online from websites with URLs that start with HTTPS instead of HTTP - a padlock icon should appear in the address bar if it’s a legitimate page. This indicates that the website uses encryption to scramble your date before hackers can intercept it.

Another bad sign is if a website has poor spelling or bad grammar, especially in its web address. Many fraudsters operate as copycats of your favourite retailers.

 

Stay ahead of the game

By reading this article, you’re already well on your way to becoming a safer internet banker. Keeping an eye out for new malware, spyware and phishing scams is a fantastic way to stay protected.

Furthermore, ensure your security software is always up-to-date and running frequent scans of your computer, mobile phone and other devices. This guarantees a better defence against new attacks and malicious activity.

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