Consumers increasingly rely on computers, web-enabled devices, and the internet for everything from shopping and communicating to banking and bill-paying. While there are benefits of using web services -- faster and more convenient services, for example -- bank customers should also be aware of the risks.
When accessing your on-line banking you should keep your information safe and private. Here are a few tips to consider that will help improve your online banking safety.
- Don't access your bank accounts on public Wi-Fi - You should never access your bank's website through a computer, tablet, or mobile phone unless you're on a secure Wi-Fi network with a password or using your own cell phone data connection.
- Avoid saving your login information - You may see the option to save your login information for future use, but if someone uses your computer or mobile device after you, they could gain access to your bank accounts. To help prevent this from happening, do not save your login information.
- Use strong passwords and change them often - Strong passwords have a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also change your password every couple of months and use a uniquely different password for each of your online accounts.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible - Two-factor authentication adds another level of security when you login to your online accounts. You provide a means of contact, usually your phone number, and a code is texted to you when you log in online. You must enter this code in addition to your password to log in. This way, even if someone has stolen your password, they cannot access your accounts without the code.
- Keep your computer updated - Always perform your computer's recommended updates as soon as they become available and install antivirus software on your computer.
- Always type your bank's web address into your browser yourself - Never click on links in emails that appear to be from your bank to access their website, even if they look legitimate. Instead, type the bank's web address into the URL bar yourself to find the correct web page. You can bookmark the right page for later use.
- Monitor your account regularly - Check your account balances and transaction history regularly, and make sure your money isn't going anywhere it isn't supposed to. If you notice suspicious activity, change your account password, and contact your bank immediately.
- Don’t provide personal or account information - Do not give your financial information over the phone or internet if you do not know who is asking for it and unless you have initiated the contact. Your bank should never contact you and ask for personal or banking information.
Knowing some cybersecurity basics and putting them into practice will help you reduce your risk.
The best protection against identify theft is to carefully guard your personal information.
To prevent from becoming a fraud victim, always exercise caution when it comes to disclosing your personal and financial information.
Use this one-stop resource to help report and recover from identify theft.
Click on any of the topics below for helpful information from the United Stated Federal Trade Commission.