​Top 10 Important Tips for Safe Internet Banking

From 24-hour accessibility to anytime bill payments or transfers, it is no surprise that more than 50 per cent of Indians prefer opting for online banking instead of traditional banking services. Whether you need to make your bill payment or conduct a transfer of funds or create a fixed deposit, internet banking can permit you to do it all in a convenient and fast way possible. In place of visiting the bank and standing in a long unending queue, with internet banking, you can conduct all your banking transactions with just a simple click. However, this facility requires being used extremely carefully. This is because of the internet-linked risk of phishing – a fraudulent means of acquiring your confidential banking details. Thus, if you are careless, banking from the comfort of your home opens to your various security risks that may be avoided only if you stay extremely careful. 

Ensure to follow the simple steps listed below to make the most out of the online banking option.

Form a strong passcode and change them on a regular basis – 

The basic rule of banking safely is linked with forming a strong passcode and continuously changing the same periodically. Always ensure to use random strings of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers as well as symbols to build a strong passcode. Ensure to be safe and do not use anything personally – avoid using your phone number, birthdays, favourite food, favourite colour, pet name, etc., as a passcode for your internet banking. For instance, suppose, consider you opened an account by visiting BOB at Bank of Baroda timings. Post opening your account, your bank representative asked you to create a passcode to protect your bank account. Here, instead of creating a strong passcode, you just entered “123456” as a passcode. This is one such code that can be easily hacked. Ensure to create a complex passcode, which you must only remember. “LM@$&bnT”; this is an example of the passcode that you could have created. 

Monitor your accounts well

It may come across as a very simple thing but avoiding it may invite certain online frauds that you would not want to happen to you. Continuously checking your account statements and connecting with your bank in case you notice anything suspicious can prevent you from levying extra or unnecessary charges. 

Use secure sites, and location networks when you bank online

Public or free WIFI networks often are not encrypted, which may make you a very easy target for scammers or hackers to steal all your personal details. Ideally, you must consider using a secure network when you are conducting any work linked with your financials and if possible, ensure to use a browser dedicated to banking. In case you are in the pinch, then ensure to figure out a private spot and turn on your phone date to transact. 

The next crucial thing that you must watch out for is ensuring your bank’s site contains the lock symbol in the web bar and the web address starts with HTTPS. All of this indicates that your bank’s site is encrypted, and all the details are converted into an unreadable gibberish form before being transmitted, which keeps your private details safe. 

Use the banking notifications

Many banks send you email or text alerts for different purposes. It ranges from receiving a notification when you make any transaction of a specific amount, or when your account balance falls below a specific limit and others. Keep track of the banking notifications you receive. Ensure to keep your bank helpline number handy to report or complain about any transaction that you did not conduct or want to stop the same instantly. 

Ensure to log out

You can avoid falling prey to any kind of session hijacking or cross-site scripting by simply logging out when you are not using online banking. On your phone or desktop, you may add-in another protection layer by using private browsers, which clears off all your caches automatically once your online net banking session is over. 

Activate multi-factor authentication

You can stop identity theft and all complexities linked with it by simply using an additional security layer known as multi-factor authentication. Most banks natively provide 2-factor authentication wherein whenever you log in, the financial institution will send you an email or text message with a unique authentication code, which you must input on the net banking site, besides entering your registered username and passcode. 

Be aware of the email scams

No bank would ever ask you to provide your sensitive or personal details or your account information over text, email or verbally. Whenever you raise a complaint, the bank always asks you for your contact details to authenticate if it is you asking for the details or queries linked to your account. 

Phishing scams are one type of fraud wherein your bank details are asked so that the scamster can extract money from your account. Never ever respond to any kind of email where your personal details are being asked. In case you think it is an important email and not a scam, then before responding cross check with your bank to understand if the mail is from an authentic and authorized handle. For instance, suppose you received mail from a bank that claims to be Bank of Baroda. As the email ID and everything is authentic, you still have a doubt that it can be a scam. Here’s where you must visit the official website of the bank to fetch information through which you may contact the bank. You may jot down all the contact details, may it be the Bank of Baroda balance enquiry number, the Bank of Baroda complaint number, and the bank’s email ID. Post accumulating all the contact details, connect with the bank to understand if the mail that you received was authentic. In case it is not authentic, then please do not bother to respond. However, if it is authentic then clarify all the bank-linked queries or requirements by visiting your bank branch. 

Use antivirus software

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your personal details is to set up and conduct periodic antivirus updates on your browsers and emails. 

Update your OS (operating system)

Software updates may appear to be a little tiresome job, however, they often involve necessary security upgradation that may prevent several infections that your computer may encounter. Never skip the suggested updates and ensure to always install the latest editions of your OS to make sure all your data is secure and safe. 

Use only the official net banking applications

Just like the Trojan horse incident, vicious malware may sneak in and create serious damage in case you download any net banking app, which is not official and unsecure. To download banking apps, always consider using your Google Play store. This store contains all the latest and authentic apps.