According to Rob Berger of MSN Money, roughly 423.5 million people accessed online banking sites in 2012.
With Increased usage, however, online banking is becoming an increasingly attractive target for hackers,” Berger warned. While that may be unsettling to hear, there is a silver lining. As a result, banks continually improve their systems to effectively deal with such activity.
There are both physical and technical safeguards that are employed to ensure the security of your finances. Some of these safeguards include the following.
In order to access your financial institution, you will need to establish a password for your account. According to Microsoft.com, the top tips for creating a strong password are making it eight characters long, avoiding using names or complete words, and making it distinctly different from other passwords you currently use.
Similar to passwords, Multi-factor authentication add another level of security to ensure that you are the one accessing your information. If you log-in to your online banking from a different computer, security questions will appear for you to answer. These questions are chosen by you and only you should know the answers to these questions. This gives you the confidence that you are accessing your own online banking account.
Firewalls create a barrier between your financial institution’s internal systems and the Internet. This helps keep information protected while allowing the financial institution to monitor all activity within online banking, including log-ins and access violations.
Automatic time-out period.
If you have entered your online banking account, but you’ve been inactive for a specified period of time, the site will automatically time out or log you out of your session to prevent others from viewing your Internet activity.
Despite the numerous tools that financial institutions use to make sure your finances and your personal information are secure, fraudulent activity can still happen.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “There are multiple ways to steal a password. The fastest growing methods, which have caused the current concern about fraud are e-mail phishing and Trojan programs.” To protect yourself, never to respond to an email asking for sensitive information. Your bank will never send such an email to you.
Thankfully, there are additional steps that you can take to go the extra step to protecting your financial security:
• Don’t give your password to anyone.
• Use a password with both upper- and lowercase letters, as well as a symbol and numbers.
• Change your password every 90 days.
• When you end your online banking session, be sure to log off.