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Caution and Safety Tips on Online Banking

(This is a cross-post from my tech blog which provides very helpful and timely information and tips in ensuring safety and privacy in banking online and making other online financial transactions.)

According to the result of the study presented by zonealarm.com, most adults today engage in online banking. Business people and private individuals conduct business and personal banking transactions as a common practice today. People send and receive money through online banking facilities and online selling and shopping are fast growing internet activities.

The convenience of online banking transactions is now a preferred alternative to face-face banking or purchasing/selling deals. This is despite the fact that there is a high-risk for cyber crimes related to online banking such as identity theft, hacking and phishing.

According to the study, consumers say banking is one of the most regularly performed activities on the internet. Shopping rank first, banking as, social network as third, and making online payments as fourth. The figure shows that even with the threats, banking facilities and security firms were successful in assuring consumers that online banking is a safe activity.

However, extra cautions should be taken to ensure that our online banking transactions are safe and not prone to privacy and security threats. The website also offers great tips on how to safely transact online:

  1. Be aware of the risks online and understand the ways your bank keeps your information safe.
  2. Don’t be tricked into clicking on an embedded link in an email from a bank. There is a good chance it is a distinguished phishing attempt wanting access to your personal information.
  3. When banking, verify the site is security enabled. Look for web address with https:// (this means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information)
  4. Create strong and unique passwords for all your bank accounts and avoid using the same password you use for everyday activity like email.
  5. Take advantage of additional ways financial instructions now provide to verify who the account owner is before conducting business on the site.
  6. It is a good idea to frequently clear your browser history.
  7. At a minimum, secure your computer with a two-way firewall and antivirus software.

In this modern day and age, we work, play and live in a complex communications environment where we have become dependent on communication technologies. We cannot escape the fact that online banking and financial transactions are becoming more and more preferred for a lot of reasons, mainly:  convenience and ease of use, and minimal use of time and resources.

However, we must be extra careful not be victimized by lurking cyber criminals and jeopardized our hard-earned money and established businesses. Stay safe and enjoy online banking. :)

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