Few tips for safe Online banking

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Banks have moved online. We are in the era of Web. And why not, its easy to have the bank account moved to your desktop or mobile and you can do all sorts of things right from your home rather than going to the bank and that too at any time you want.

But online banking has also increased the chances of thefts and fraud, there are many ways hackers can steal your credentials and your money using your internet banking and credit cards, and hence it is necessary for everyone to follow certain basic security measures while using internet or mobile banking.

I will give few security tips here, which can help you operate your bank accounts safely.

A.      The basics
1.       Do not share the bank account username and password with many people, and best is do not share at all if possible.
2.       Do not write down the password on a piece of paper and keep in your wallet. I have seen many people who keep the passwords of their ATM cards and bank accounts in their wallets, that's a bad practice and must be avoided.
3.       Always use strong and memorable passwords. You can read this article to know about strong passwords.

4.       Monitor your account regularly to see if all the transactions are done by you. If you find any discrepancy, immediately report it to proper authority.

B.      Avoid public and unsecure computers
1.       Never use the computers of Internet Cafes to operate your bank accounts. The internet cafĂ©'s PCs are prone to be infected with malwares and viruses which can steal your sensitive information. Other than infection, there may be possibility of keylogger placed on the PC.
2.       Try to avoid other shared PCs also if you are not sure of the security status of the PC.

C.      Keep your PC protected and updated.
1.       Keep your computer secure with a good antivirus program. And keep the antivirus updated always.
2.       Keep your browsers updated. It is one of the most sensitive thing while using online banking and it can be used to compromise your online privacy and security. Whether you use Chrome or Firefox or Internet Explorer, always keep it updated. The updates usually take care of the security holes in the browsers.
3.       Avoid using any untrusted plugins for the browser you use for banking purposes. Some malicious plugin or extension can compromise the security of your browser. Actually I recommend using minimum plugins and extensions for browser you use for online banking.
4.       Most of the online banking website use java, so keep Java on your computer updated. You can find latest version of Java from www.java.com or for offline installation file click here.



D.      While accessing your online banking.
1.       Get the correct URL or the website name from your bank to access online banking. The web address of the online banking website is usually mentioned on the kit you get from the bank. If you find difficult to find it, it's always better to ask the bank customer care rather than to search it online on Google or any other search engine.
2.       Always type in the web address in your browser and never access the online banking website by clicking any link you received in any email even if that email appears to be sent from the bank. This will save you from phishing attempts. Most of the bank never send you email containing the clickable links to banking websites or for asking bank account details, if you receive such email, they might be phishing emails. (Phishing websites are made by hackers to steal your banking and credit card details. These websites look exactly similar to the original bank website and the domain is also confusing for example onlinesbii.com or onlinesbi.com.a.mx in place of onlinesbi.com)
3.       Always use https:// (SSL secure websites) for accessing the netbanking. Also check the green colored bar for secure websites. If the security certificate is not green or is red or having a cross or exclamation mark, do not proceed with entering the login details and report this to your bank.
4.       Double check the web address before entering the login details.
5.       Always logout of the account once you finish with the work.

E.       Keep your mobile number updated.
1.       Almost all banks have made it compulsory to associate the mobile number with the online banking account specially for transaction accounts. All online transactions now require to enter a OTP (One Time Password) which is received on the linked mobile to complete the transaction.
2.       Keep the linked mobile number safe with you always.
3.       If you lose the sim inform the bank immediately and block or change the mobile number.
4.       Do not give your sim to untrusted people for any reason. There are reports of duplicating the sim and using it for stealing money. If you believe your sim is compromised, immediately report to the mobile operator and the bank.

By following these simple but important rules, you can make your online banking much safer and convenient. If you have some other tip in your mind, do tell us by commenting to this post.



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