Be Aware of Online Scams, Best Ways to Avoid Online Banking Fraud
By Space Coast Daily // August 15, 2018
Choose your bank wisely, Two-factor authentication
Online fraudsters are constantly developing new and innovative ways to trick unsuspecting internet users into revealing their back details, or hacking sites to harvest your personal details.
The internet can be a minefield, and it’s difficult to know who or what you can trust while surfing the web, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid anything which you suspect may not be completely legit.
That said, there’s no need to go about your online activity in a state of constant fear or paranoia, as there are plenty of ways to make life more difficult for scammers to target you. If that’s the case, they’re more likely to leave you alone.
Choose your bank wisely
While this may not seem obvious to many, using a good, reputable bank or building society can help keep you protected online, and should worst come to worst, you’re more likely to get the problem resolved quicker and easier.
For example, if your credit or debit card which you use for shopping online is verified by Visa, you’ll need an extra password which you must enter before any online purchases can be completed. This is practiced by banks such as Barclays, which is included in this list of best online banks.
The average person has 22 online accounts, and most people tend to have the same password for most of them. While this is convenient, it’s also a foolhardy approach for obvious reasons, as once a hacker has got one password, they’ve got the lot.
Try mixing your passwords up, and maybe even change them every so often. It’s also a good idea to keep a private note of all your different passwords to refer to whenever you log in. This enables you to have more complicated passwords than simply choosing your dog’s name or favorite sports team, which is easily guessed.
Secure your Wi-Fi
Making sure your personal Wi-Fi is password protected is essential, otherwise, there is nothing to prevent anyone within range accessing your internet source without your permission.
From here, they may be able to access personal information without you knowing, and could potentially spy on your online activity.
Check before clicking
An unfortunate byproduct of internet browsing is regular spam emails. These usually go straight into your junk folder and disappear after a week or so, but occasionally one or two will make their way into your inbox.
If any of these emails, known as ‘phishing’ emails, look at all suspicious, delete them without opening. Normally, these emails will be disguised as an email from your bank or other institution connected to you, such as your mobile network, as an attempt to trick you into submitting personal details. Telltale signs often include overly long and illegitimate looking email addresses and poor spelling and grammar contained within the email itself.
Protect your device
While antivirus software programs are not watertight when it comes to keeping you safe online, they can provide an effective enough barrier of resistance and cause scammers to try their luck elsewhere. Keeping your browser up to date can also reduce any risk.
Where possible, avoid using public computers in places such as internet cafes, as you can never be certain have safe and secure their systems are, whereas on your own devices you have control over this yourself.
In the unfortunate event that your online banking password is ever compromised, two-factor authentication is an excellent safety net. This involves – as the name suggests – a secondary layer of security which lengthens the process and increases the amount of information which must be obtained before your account can be accessed.
To find out more about how to set this up on your account, contact your bank.
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