5 Ways for a Safe Online Banking

Most people would agree that technology has drastically changed the way that the banking industry operates. People used to make regular visits to the bank in-person to do everything; from discuss a mortgage to making deposits and withdrawals from a bank account. Now, most people have access to their bank from their phone and use the internet to shop around for products and services.

However, this convenience comes with a risk as hackers pry on their victim’s bank account to steal money from it. Here are some of the best practices to avoid this from happening.

Create a strong password

Most banks require a password in order to access your account online. If you are to create a password, make sure that it is a strong password. Try to make a password that is long at least 10 characters with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t ever use your birthday or your name as your password.

For convenience, you can download a password keeper app on your mobile phone and store your password there to avoid being forgotten.

Be wary of phishing emails

Avoid clicking through links in the email which asks you to provide any of your login details. No financial institution will ask you about this. Better yet, just login on your bank’s official website directly and change your password there.

I once received a phishing email from BPI below and it looks authentic. It came from the official email of BPI expressonline@bpi.com.ph. However, when I clicked the link, it goes to a different website. Again, never ever give any of your access details.

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Always log out when done

Make sure to always log out of your online banking session when you have finished what you need to do. In addition, you may also want to set up the extra precaution of private browsing on your computer or smart phone, for example using Incognito Tab in Google Chrome, and set your browser to clear its cache at the end of each session.

Make sure the website is encrypted

When accessing your account online, look for a small padlock icon somewhere on your browser and check the address bar – the URL of the site you are on should begin with ‘https’. HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. This confirms that you are accessing your account over an encrypted connection.

Monitor your accounts

Regularly monitoring your account enables you to quickly identify any discrepancies. Look at every transaction since you last logged in and, if you spot any suspicious transaction, immediately contact your bank. If you made online bills payments, check if it made same day payments. If available, set up notification on your account for big transactions. For example, with BPI, they will email you for every bills payment you made and for every withdrawal made on ATM of an amount at least 10,000.

These are just some of the few tips on how to do a safe online banking. It could go a long way to ensure that you get to enjoy the convenience of it without the fear of being victimized by hackers.

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