We live in a world of 24/7's now. Everything we need is searchable or accessible, usually with the push of a few buttons, or taps on a screen. Online banking is one of those great technological advancements that we luckily have unlimited access to. No surprise, more than 70% of Americans utilize online banking today, according to the Federal Reserve. However, those who manage their funds online need to be aware of hackers, malware, and fraudsters who are out there trying to steal information and funds.
We believe in proactive protection, so here are 5 tips for you to practice that will help protect your hard earned money from cyber thieves:
- Don't Use Public Wi-Fi: If you're out in public and connected to a public Wi-Fi network, don't check your banking information. Public networks often times are not encrypted, making it easy for hackers to steal login credentials. If you must check your banking information outside your home, use your cellular-data connection or turn on your phones mobile hotspot. Those are much more secure options.
- Create a Strong Password: Having a strong, unique password makes it that much harder for hackers. It is suggested that you use both upper and lowercase letters in your passwords, along with numbers, a special character or two, and be at least 12 characters long. You also should avoid using your last name, street name, or any other easily found information about yourself.
- Only Use The Official Bank App: Studies have found that most banks' official apps for online banking are more secure than their websites. Just make sure you keep it up-to-date and accept all the updates that come through every so often. Updates usually add additional security elements to ensure your money stays safe. Also, be conscious of where you are downloading the banks app. Use only trusted stores like the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
- Turn off Bluetooth: When you're phone is not connected to a Bluetooth device like your car, headphones, or speakers, turn it off. Bluejacking, bluesnarfing or bluebugging are becoming more prevalent now. Cyber thieves are able to tap into your phone via Bluetooth, taking information and even controlling functions within your phone.
- Monitor Your Account: Checking your account regularly can help you spot fraudulent charges sometimes before your bank can. Don't just rely on those account alerts you may have set up. If it doesn't look right, call your local branch immediately and question what it is. It could be nothing, or it could be a threat.
The evolution of technology is changing every day. Hackers are finding new ways to get the information they are searching for. By taking the above precautions you can help ensure these cyber thieves don't get yours.