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Internet Banking and Online Security - What Can You Do to Protect Your Account?

Kyle Campbell - Thursday, July 05, 2012

Even as banks promote e-Statements and the convenience of Internet transactions, concern about online security has some customers still holding off from e-Banking. Protecting your information and transactions is high priority for most financial institutions and they have implemented advanced security measures to reduce the risk of fraudulent activities. However, as a customer you have an equal role to play in ensuring safe banking.

Let’s take a look at some important but simple ways to prevent your online bank account from being compromised.

  1. Identify theft—Don’t give out your personal information: Identity thieves are looking for personal information to access your accounts or create new ones in your name. Make sure you never log into your account from a public computer, as it might have malware (a “virus” like program that can track your activity) to gather this information. Only surf and download information from well-known and trusted websites. And don’t click on any links or believe emails that suggest there is a problem with your accounts. Your bank will always notify you by phone.

  2. Password protection—Never share it with anyone: Don’t share your online banking password or pin number with anyone. Especially online. Your bank will never ask you to provide this information via email or through a link. When selecting a password, it’s best to choose an alpha-numeric combination more than six characters long. Also avoid using birthdays, family names, street name, etc. as they are easy for others to guess. If you can, also include a special character like #@$%^& for even greater complexity.

  3. Password reset process—Change it to deter ‘phishing’: Resetting your password (experts suggest once every quarter) deters hackers and Internet prowlers from gaining easy access. One thing is for sure, if you have accessed your account at a public computer, e.g. library or Internet café it is imperative that you change your password to keep the “bad guys” away.

  4. Personal verification question—Keep it unique: Often times you will be asked to answer the personal verification when resetting your password (or because you forgot it). Your question should be unique (think of information that no one else knows) and not shared with anyone. Mother’s maiden name is no longer enough, especially if your mom is on Facebook and has this as part of her personal profile!

  5. Logging off securely—Prevent easy access: Always remember to log off once you have completed your transaction or finished looking at your account information. You can go one step further by closing your browser. This will prevent anyone who uses your computer from looking at your information.

Astra Bank offers easy and convenient e-Banking services with advanced online security. Set up an online bank account today.

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