Banking online, whether it’s on your computer, smartphone or tablet, is fast and convenient.
Most of us do it.
But it can be risky if you’re not protecting yourself properly.
One of the biggest risks can be complacency.
You might be thinking, “nobody will ever hack me” or “I’ll be okay”.
The truth is, anyone can be hacked at anytime if they don’t take the necessary precautions.
Hackers can steal your bank account and credit card information and cost you an absolute fortune.
So how can you protect yourself from being hacked?
Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your bank accounts online.
1. Make sure your computer is secure
First thing’s first, you should avoid using a public computer or Internet cafe to do your online banking. These computers are easily targeted by scammers, even after you’ve logged off and gone home. When using your own computer, it’s important to make sure it’s protected. Your anti-virus, firewalls and anti-spyware programs all need to be up to date to stop hackers accessing your computer. When you’re finished on the banking website, log off and clear your internet history. By doing so, you’ll make it harder for hackers to find and access your bank account details.
2. Protect your privacy, passwords and PIN
The most important rule here is to NEVER give out your PIN or passwords for online banking to anyone, especially via email or text message. Your passwords are also very important. Never make your password something easy such as your birth date, name or address. Instead, you should aim for a long password that’s a mix of numbers and letters. You should also change your password several times a year, use different passwords for different Internet accounts and never write down your password somewhere that it can be found or stolen. Another aspect of protecting your privacy is to safely dispose of any personal documents, particularly any bank documents. These should be shredded to save them from ending up in the hands of somebody who could hack your bank accounts.
3. Don’t fall for scams
If it looks suspicious, don’t open it. That’s the easiest rule to stop yourself from being scammed. Start by educating yourself about the scams circulating. One important thing to remember is that your bank will never send you an email asking you for your personal details, if you think it’s a legitimate email then you should call your bank to confirm. The same applies to phone calls from the bank, ask for a number and call your bank to confirm the call is legitimate. If you get an unfamiliar or unexpected email, never click on links or open attachments – they could contain viruses and other software that allow scammers to get your bank details.
4. Keep a close eye on your accounts
If you’ve been hacked one, chances are you’ll be hacked again if you don’t take action. You should keep a close eye on your bank accounts to make sure you’re not being hacked. Look for any unauthorised transactions. If you find something suspicious, don’t brush it off. Contact your bank immediately and notify them.