Shopping and banking online occur constantly in the Internet marketplace. Unfortunately, online fraud and theft occur just as frequently, thanks to clever thieves and sloppy consumer Internet shopping habits. Online transactions always carry some risk, but consumers can do many things to increase their security on the web. Advanced banking technology helps us access our money at the click of a button but it is important to ensure such facilities are used wisely so that we do not fall victim to fraud or misuse of our money. One can secure bank transactions by keeping certain things in mind.
Credit Card offers more protection for consumers than debit cards when fraudulent transactions occur. Consumers should carefully read the fine print on their credit and debit card agreements to find out the protections and limitations for their cards.
Whether it is bill payments, funds transfer or creation of a fixed deposit, all these can be done with a click of a button instead of going to the bank and waiting in an unending queue. Internet banking has made all banking functions accessible through a few clicks but it will be beneficial only when you secure bank transactions. Banking transactions needs to be used very carefully due to the risk of phishing. Phishing emails are sent by criminals posing as genuine companies such as a bank or HMRC. Clicking on a link takes you to a fake website where fraudsters steal financial or personal details. Or, the link might install malware on your computer as another means to capture details. Thieves can steal your password by tricking you into installing a program on your computer that secretly records your password when you type.
How to secure bank transactions:
- Create strong passwords – Different banks have different security measures for online banking but if you have to set up a password, make sure it is mixed of letters, numbers and different characters.
- Change your password regularly – You need to change the password in order to keep your account safe. Keep changing your password at regular intervals. More importantly, keep the password confidential at all times.
- Do not use public computers to log in – Avoid logging in to your bank account at common computers in cyber cafes or libraries. These are crowded places, and there are more chances of your password being traced or seen by others.
- Credit/debit card checks – It is important to track credit and debit card transactions. Setting SMS or email alerts help us get notified about any transaction carried out on the cards.
- Do not share your details with anyone – Your bank will never ask for your confidential information. So whether you get an apparent phone call from the bank or an email requesting your details, do not give out your login information. Use your login ID and password only on the official login page of the bank, which should be a secure website.
- Use Antivirus software – Make sure your computer or laptop is secured with a good security software program and antivirus software. Keep them all, along with your browser up to date.
- Use a secure network – If you have a wireless network at home, activate the security settings on your router to prevent others from accessing it. Avoid accessing your bank account from a public computer or unsecured wireless network. If you do use a public computer, never leave it unattended and always log out properly when you’ve finished your banking session.
- Keep checking your savings account regularly – Check your account after making any transaction online. Verify whether the right amount has been deducted from your account. If you see any discrepancies in the amount, inform the bank immediately.
- Be aware of links – Avoid downloading statements and clicking links from emails or texts. Instead, type your bank URL in the address bar of the browser for a safer experience.
- Reporting a Fraud – If you suspect the misuse of your account, it should be reported to the bank/card issuer within a week.
Note: Beware of malicious sites and apps while accessing Net banking and do not opt for saving of password option prompted by the browser while accessing Internet banking.