How to Keep Your Online Bank Account Secret and Safe from Hackers

$560 million: the gross amount internet hackers stole from Americans’ online bank accounts in 2009. Enough money for one person to live more than comfortably for a lifetime or two. That’s also more money than was stolen in physical bank robberies that year.

If you’re sitting back after reading that figure thinking, “What do I have to worry about? My bank offers secure online banking.”—you need to reconsider, and reexamine your bank’s security measures, as well as your own internet practices.

Not-So-Pretty Horses

Hackers use scripts or software, Trojans (named for the mythological wooden horse presented as a gift to the Trojans by the Greeks as a gift, which housed 30 soldiers who crept out at nightfall to slay the Trojans while they slept), to remotely monitor and steal your personal information while you browse the internet unaware. Trojans can be installed on your computer just by clicking on a link or pop-up, filling out a fraudulent form, or visiting a decoy website. Trojans lift your information—passwords, social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses—for hackers to use at their will, and some more sophisticated Trojans are even able to make fraudulent transfers to and from your account.

Many banks advertise secure online banking, but their security may not be extensive enough to protect you from every kind of threat. It is largely up to you to practice safe browsing and protect yourself from hackers. What follows is a list of some measures you can take to secure your information and ensure that you aren’t robbed:

  • Save as little personal information on the web as possible. Browsers often give you the option of storing passwords—while convenient, storing your passwords online makes it easier for malware programs to lift them.
  • Try not to access your account, or any site that requires your personal information for log-in, from a wireless, shared network. These are often unsecured and, consequently, are very easy targets for hackers. Browsing the web while sipping a latte at Starbucks may be convenient, but do so with caution.
  • Always, always install anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep them updated. Hackers are inventive, and create new strands of viruses all the time, which means you need new security measures to keep up.
  • Never, never stay logged in to your bank account when you leave it. The longer you stay logged in, the more vulnerable you are.
  • Generate a few different strong passwords for your different accounts, and definitely don’t use the same password for important accounts. A strong password, by the way, should include a capital letter, lowercase letters, numbers, and a special character.
  • Lastly, be sure to review your bank statement frequently, and inspect it for peculiar or suspicious activity. The earlier you detect it, the less damage a hacker will be able to do. Also, banks are usually liable for losses of that nature if they are caught within a reasonable time frame.

Online banking is an extraordinarily convenient development, but one that also comes with its own set of risks and threats. You wouldn’t walk out of your bank with a poster board around neck advertising your information to the world; similarly, you have to take precautions while banking online, to protect your finances, and your identity.


About Arun Wilson

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This Post By Arun Wilson. Arun Wilson is tech and gadget freak. Apart from his busy life he love to post news articles related to tech, internet security and latest gadgets. Follow him on twitter and Facebook.

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