Online banking platforms are some of the most secure places on the internet. But there are two sides to security. Although almost every bank across the world uses powerful security measures for its online platform to ensure complete user privacy and security, certain security issues may arise from the user’s side.
Many people don’t use their online banking services responsibly. For instance, they might use weak passwords, old software, or connect to unsecured networks. Countless situations and factors can make their online banking unsafe.
So, to answer the question, “How safe is online banking?” – it entirely depends on the user.
What are the risks involved in online banking?
Here are some of the main risks to online banking security:
Weak passwords are the most common risk in online banking. According to the Data Breach Investigation Report curated by Verizon, around 81% of all data breaches happen due to stolen or weak passwords. That’s why you must generate strong passwords for your online banking account.
Phishing is another risk related to online banking. It is when a cyber attacker tries to fool the user into clicking on a malicious link that can compromise user data or tries to trick a user into revealing their sensitive data (such as bank account login information). This is done by sending fraudulent messages through email, text message, or pop-up
Most apps, including banking apps, have bugs and vulnerabilities. As these bugs are the primary targets of cyber thieves, almost every bank fixes them as soon as they’re discovered, and they include these fixes in software updates. Using outdated software for any app (not only your banking app) ultimately puts your data at risk, so don’t forget to download those updates!
What are the best ways to stay safe from these risks?
We should all be a little more focused on our web activities during online banking. Here are some effective methods through which you can ensure security!
Set strong passwords
So many of us fail to set strong passwords for our online banking accounts, and failing to do so often leads to breached accounts because weak passwords can be very easy to hack. Therefore, it is vital for you to set a strong password for your online banking account.
The reason why we tend to use weak passwords is that strong ones can be impossible to remember. If that’s the case for you, consider using special security tools to manage your passwords. Weak passwords just aren’t worth the risk, especially when it comes to online banking.
Stay away from public wifi
Free wifi can instantly bring a smile to anyone’s face. Who doesn’t love free internet? Well, next time you discover a free wifi network, maybe avoid connecting to it, especially if you want to connect to your online bank account and make a transaction. Public wifi is an excellent opportunity for hackers to steal your data. Why?
Well, the public wifi network you connect to might not have the required encryption to ensure the security of your data. This lack of encryption means that there is no barrier between your sensitive data and the network, so hackers who connect to the same network may be able to extract your sensitive information, implant a virus, track your activity, and do a lot more. That’s why you should stick to your home wifi network or mobile data!
Use a virtual keyboard
If you are using a public device (or borrowing a device from a friend), you don’t know for sure that the device is safe and not infected with malware. For instance, if a device is infected with keylogger malware, your keystrokes can be recorded. The recorded keystroke information can then be used to hack into your bank account. This is not the case with a virtual keyboard.
A virtual keyboard can be found on almost every bank’s website. It is a great tool to securely enter your bank details like passwords, user IDs, etc. In a virtual keyboard, you don’t need to press physical keys. Therefore, it is nearly impossible for hackers to get your details through keylogger malware when you use a virtual keyboard.
Use a dedicated device for online banking
It is recommended to use a single device to undertake all of your banking activities and avoid sharing it with your friends and family. For instance, if you share a device with someone, their online activities might not be as responsible and safe as yours. They might visit some unsafe websites or click on a malicious link that infects the device with malware. If you use the same device for online banking, your data may be put at risk.
Therefore, it’s best to keep the device you use for online banking to yourself and avoid sharing it with others!
Yes, online banking is safe in itself, and it’s become an integral part of our lives. You can use your online banking platform to send money, make investments, or pay bills. However, you have to take some security steps from your end to ensure your finances are secure.
Start by reviewing your password security, thinking twice before connecting to public wifi, and not using random devices to connect to your online bank! By remaining vigilant and understanding the risks associated with online banking, you’ll make your online banking experience as secure as possible!