Online banking is popular and convenient, but not without risks. The main risk from conducting financial transactions over the Internet is information security, says Keith Gordon, a senior vice president with Bank of America.
Although banks and other financial services providers make their online systems secure, it’s possible for others to steal your passwords, account numbers or other personal information, which can put your money at risk. Gordon, who serves on the National Cyber Security Alliance’s board of directors, offers these tips:
- Do put some thought into your password and change it often. Never use all or part of your Social Security number as a password. “And make sure your password is eight or more characters and combines letters, numerals and symbols,” he says. Don’t make the common mistake of using the same ID and password for bank accounts as you do for other websites.
- Don’t log in to your account from a public computer. Hackers can install malicious software on these computers, allowing them to record your keystrokes and gain access to sensitive information.
- Do ensure your antivirus software is up to date. Antivirus programs help detect and remove spyware, which Gordon says can be used to steal personal data. Be sure to keep your computer’s operating system and web browser updated with the latest security downloads.
- Don’t use your mobile phone to store banking information. “Consider a screen lock on your mobile device,” Gordon says.
This article was originally published as Online Banking Dos and Don’ts on DailyParent.com