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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

5 Important Steps for Safer Online Banking

Around 80 percent of households in the United States bank online and that makes banking accounts a target for cyber-criminals. There’s no method they won’t try to get your money. The most popular scams involve tricking you into giving up your information in the form of e-mail phishing scams and phones calls. Banks actually do a lot of things to make your online banking experience safe and secure because they have as much to lose if you get breached. What can you do to keep enjoying the benefits of online banking without falling victim of a scam? Use these tips to protect your accounts.

1. Setup your account for text and email alerts. Most banks will allow you to get text or email alerts whenever there are major changes to your account. When you enable these settings, you can contact your bank immediately if you notice any fraudulent activity.

2. Take a look at those bank statements.There are many ways to protect your online security. One is to upgrade your antivirus protection regularly. But, perhaps the most sage and easy-to-implement advice is to scan your accounts with your own two eyes. A simple monthly glance at your transactions can ensure there aren’t fraudulent transactions being deducted from your account.

3. Set up double authentication on wire transfers. One of the most common ways criminals try to get your money is to setup overseas wire transfers from your account. Get in contact with your bank and setup authentication for any wire transfers which means that if a criminal gets access to your account, money isn't transferred automatically. The bank will take additional steps of getting a second confirmation from you if anyone tries to wire money from your account.

4. 2-Factor Identification is a must. You can prevent your accounts from being accessed by setting up two-factor authentication. Two factor authentication requires you to log in with your username and password and with another piece of information. Once the first factor is complete you will be asked to verify another piece of data, such as a passcode sent to your phone via a text message or an email.

Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to your account. Making it a little bit more difficult for hackers to access your bank account.

5. Don't use public Wifi to bank. Most public wifi networks lack of authentication which means a hacker can intercept your information. Banking on your home network is my recommendation, but if you have to check your bank account outside of your home network, use your mobile provider’s network, or a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN creates a separate and private network from the which blocks any spying hacker to your information.

What steps do you take to keep your banking information safe? Drop me a line and leave me a comment in the comment section below.

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