Do you remember the last time you went to the bank and interacted with a bank teller? I don’t.
Ever since the banking industry integrated with the internet, online transactions started becoming more common and convenient, we no longer have to deal in cash.We shop online, pay bills such as utility or make transfers with just a few clicks.
While this is a huge convenience that has helped immensely in economic developments and growth around the world and has made international trade more fluent, there are a few dangers that you should be aware of.
According to a 2016 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, cybercrime is the second most reported economic crime, affecting around more than 30% of the organizations.What is more surprising is thatmore than half of the people do not even know that they have been victimized.
So what are you going do now? You no longer have a choice, this is the way the new world spins and you have to spin with it. But there are a few solid fool proof steps that you can take to secure your online presence and data.
Make sure you follow these seven steps mentioned below and all will be good!
1. Always Communicate with the Organization Directly
We often see offers on the internet that are just irresistible but the truth is ifit’s too good to be true, then it probably is. In case you are contacted by someone from an organization you are associated with asking for your personal details, make sure it is indeed really legit.
The world of internet is full of phishing scams!
2. Destroy All Unwanted Physical Documents
Even though you may believe that documents could be useless for anyone, you never know what information can give access to an intruder seeking to access your bank account.
Therefore, it is always advisable to shred confidential documents. While you can use different passwords to protect your accounts at the same time,it is better to destroy unwanted important documents.
3. Regularly Check your Accounts
Imagine one fine day you access your bank account to find out that it is completely empty. I would suggest everyone to regularly check and reconcile bank accounts. In this case, even if your security has been compromised, there is a higher chance of getting your money back and catching the criminal before it is too late.
4. Use a Credible VPN
AVPN, acronym for virtual private network, can work wonders for your security needs.What a VPN does is that it encrypts your internet traffic making it useless for anyone trying to gain access to your data.
Furthermore, a VPN hides your IP address making it impossible for anyone to find out your real location. This means you could be operating from California and appearing to be from let’s say Congo.
There are hundreds of top VPN reviews available on the internet. It is a good starting point for new VPN users to go through the reviews to find the most suitable service for their needs.
5. Always Go for HTTPS
A website that has httpsin the beginning automatically encrypts any data that is being entered into it, making it safer for you to use.
If the website does not have https and is only http, you can use an extension such as httpseverywhere to enhance your protection and convert to https.
6. Always Use the Banks Official App
Many single access software today let you access your account from within one app or offer a replacement for the official app. Never fall into this trap, as the bank would then not be liable for your loss.
A VPN review website, VPNRanks.com also suggested lookingfor the owners of the app. That will help you identify fake apps from the real one.
Applications developed by banks themselves are highly secure and if there is any vulnerability, there is a high chance that you will be remunerated for any leaks or weakness in the banks system.
7. Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP)
This concept refers to only using the administrative account when really needed for any changes or advancements in your system.
Using the admin account increases the risk of vulnerabilities, therefore, it is advised to use it only when required, and for all other work, use the guest profile,as it is a safe choice.
Now that I have taught you all the precautions to secure your online banking, make sure to follow all the steps, so that you don’t become a victim of cybercrime.
Despite its vulnerabilities, online banking is going to stay and in fact grow more. Instead of avoiding online transactions, it is better to educate yourself for security and advance with the world.
Mohid is a business school graduate, with an early born interest in writing and marketing. He stands for internet freedom and cyber security and strongly believes that the world is a global village that should be boundless.