Secure Online Banking
Banking online has become a common or everyday occurrence for many people across the UK, making the cheque book a very niche commodity in a very short time indeed, considering how long it has been in use.
As the technology to handle, transfer, and store money grows more and more sophisticated, so, unsurprisingly are the techniques those of the criminally minded who look to relieve you or your bank of it.
No system can be 100% guaranteed safe, as the constant game of cat and mouse between the sides goes on, but there are some sensible precautions that should be exercised as a matter of course whenever banking online.
Make sure you have up to-date anti-virus software in place. It is easy to locate and easy to install. Nothing will ever be 100%, but this is a good start.
Use a password that isn’t obvious, like a pet’s name, or your partners would be, use a mix of letters, numbers and possibly symbols, to keep it un-guessable. Using the same password for more than one site, lowers the security level exponentially.
Do not re-use your email password, should this be compromised, this will give access to almost everything you have online, exposing you to identity theft.
Unexpected emails should be treated with caution, and regardless of their purported origin, never follow a link offered on one.
The explosive growth in social media has not gone unnoticed by the criminal. The house-breaker now has different tools. Instead of jemmy and hammer the criminal now can spend the time trawling tweets and likes for personal information. The rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t shout it in the high street, don’t post it on social media.
Another simple brief precaution is that if you are going to make a purchase online, before giving your card detail, glance at the browser bar, where the seller’s web address begins, the s on the end of https indicates a safety encryption layer, no s, ie http, no secure encryption. Also present should be a closed padlock symbol, or unbroken key.
Do not expose your financial self by sending detail whilst using free public Wi Fi areas, as these are rarely secure and can easily be open to others in that area with software that searches for data being transferred unencrypted, which could be yours.
When you are out and about, keep your phone, tablet or whatever portable device, locked. A simple but prudent start to your internet security.