In today's digital world, most banks offer online banking and online account access, while some banks are only available online. The shift to online banking has a tendency to make consumers nervous about their account security. However, bank websites are heavily encrypted and designed to be hack-proof. In fact, the primary cause of security breaches has little to do with the bank's website and much to do with the user's actions.
Below are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that your account, money, and personal information are safe and secure.
- Never give out your username or password. Not even to your bank. And especially not by email. Your bank already has it and only a few employees will have access to it. If you need to address this issue with your bank, stop by a local branch or call them at an
official number. Stay away from supplying any contact information that is requested in a solicitous email that could have been sent by an imposter.
- Make sure that any computer you regularly access your accounts from has up-to-date anti-virus software. You should also make sure that the machine is running an up-to-date browser that can support the standard 128-bit encryption used by most secure websites. When you are finished accessing your accounts, be sure to log out and even clear the auto-complete bar. If your username remains, it's possible for someone to guess your password.
- Choose a good password and don't use it for multiple accounts. If a hacker, worm, or virus breaches your computer and finds a password, they will try that same password in all of your cached login areas. Try incorporating numbers, letters and punctuation, as well as capital and lowercase letters. Birthdays, pet names, and nicknames tend to be easiest to guess.
- Never trust any email that links directly to your login page. This is the number one trick for hackers to "cloak" or "phish" you out of your own private information. Even though the site looks like your bank's website, it may not be. Always go directly to your bank's URL and log in from there.
Follow these easy tips and you can rest assured that your identity and information is safe and secure.
For more information about your online banking security, visit your neighborhood North Country Savings Bank!