Online Banking Safety
Protect your Information & Devices
- Do Your Updates. No matter what type of system, browser, or other software you use, keep it up to date. Make sure your antivirus and antispyware software is up to date. It is best to set your system to do this automatically to ensure you have the latest security patches and updates.
- Use strong passwords. Complexity also helps strengthen a password. Mix numbers, symbols, and capital letters into the middle of the password, not at the beginning or end. Never use the same password for more than one account or for personal and business accounts. If you write them down, lock them up. Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts, or by email.
- Turn on two-factor authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.
- Don’t leave your laptop, phone or other devices unattended in public, even locked in a car. They may contain sensitive information – and they’re costly to replace. If they go missing, the information stored on them may fall into the hands of an identity thief. You also can turn on device encryption to encrypt all data on each device. This reduces the risk to sensitive information in case your device is stolen or misplaced.
- Password protect all of your devices. If you access your network from an app on your phone or tablet, use a strong password for the app, too. Never save your passwords to programs and online accounts on your device.
- Protect account information. Every time someone asks for information – whether in an email, text, phone call, or web form – think about whether you can really trust the request. Scammers will say or do anything – or pretend to be anyone – to get account numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or other credentials. Scammers will rush, pressure or threaten you to get you to give up private information.
- Only give sensitive information over encrypted websites. If you are banking or buying online, stick to sites that use encryption to protect your information as it travels from your computer to their server. Look for https at the beginning of the web address in the address bar of your browser. Look for https on every page of the site you’re on, not just where you log in.
- Beware of social media scams. Be cautious of scams that involve posts on social media sites appearing to offer vouchers, gift cards, and free products if you fill out a survey, or cool looking ads to purchase various products. These can be designed to steal your personal information. If it is something you are really interested in, get off of the social site and look up the company and see if they are a legitimate company.
- Be wary of work-from-home opportunities. Be cautious about any opportunities offering the chance to work from home with very little work or prior experience. Research the legitimacy of the company. Never pay for the privilege of working for an employer. Be suspicious of opportunities that require you to pay for things up front, such as supplies and other materials. Remember: if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
- Never share your online banking sign on credentials with anyone. Your account information is private. Never give your bank account details to anyone. Doing so could allow someone the ability to financially deplete your accounts and expose confidential information that you could be liable for.
- Do not click or respond to Pop Ups or links. Do not click on any links or call the phone numbers in an email. Scammers can impersonate well know businesses. Visit their website or call them directly. If it is a scam the phone number probably is too. Don’t open attachments unless you know who sent them and what they are. Do not respond to pop ups on your device. Never allow someone to remote into your computer unless you initiated the support call. Never login to other programs like your Online Banking when someone is remoted in.
Protect your Wireless Network
- Set up your router securely. If you use a wireless network, your "access point" is probably a cable or DSL modem connected to a wireless router, which sends a signal through the air. Your router directs traffic between your local network and the internet. Any device within range can pull the signal from the air and access the internet. Change the name of your router and pre-set password to something unique. Also turn off any “remote management” features.
- Be careful with WI-FI Hotspots. If you’re on the go, Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, and other public places are convenient – but often they’re not secure. In fact, if a network doesn’t require a WPA2 password, it’s probably not secure. To protect your information when using wireless hotspots, send information only to websites that are fully encrypted – look for https on every page. And avoid using mobile apps that require sharing personal or financial information over public Wi-Fi.
Know What to do if Something Goes Wrong
- Plan ahead. Know what to do if a hacker gets into your system. There are steps you can take to minimize the damage. If you discover “ malware” on your computer, that your email has been hacked, or even if someone takes over your system and demands a ransom to return control of it, immediately turn off and unplug your device. Call your financial institution, computer repair service, and law enforcement.