As use of the Internet continues to expand, banks and other financial institutions are using the Internet to offer products and services, or otherwise enhance communications with consumers.
The Internet offers the potential for safe, convenient new ways to shop for financial services and conduct banking business, any day, any time. However, safe banking online involves making good choices; decisions that will help you avoid costly surprises, or scams.
You are your own best protection. So learn about and take advantage of security features offered by your financial institution.
Encryption is the process of scrambling private information to prevent unauthorized access. To show that your transmission is encrypted, most Internet browsers display a small icon on your screen that looks like a lock or a key, when you conduct secure transactions online. Avoid sending sensitive information, such as account numbers, through unsecured e-mail.
Passwords, or personal identification numbers, should be used when accessing an account online. Your password should be unique to you, and you should change it regularly. Do not use birthdates or other numbers or words that may be easy for others to guess.
Always carefully control to whom you give your password. For example, if you use a financial company that requires your passwords in order to gather your financial data from various sources, make sure you learn about the company’s privacy and security practices.
General security over your personal computer such as virus protection and physical access controls should be used and updated regularly. Contact your hardware and software suppliers, or Internet service provider, to ensure you have the latest in security updates.
Tips on safe computing practices when conducting your online banking at home, or at a public computer:
· Never leave your computer unattended once you have signed in to online banking.
· After completing your transactions, ensure that you sign out of online banking, clear your cache, and close your browser.
· Keep your password and card number safe.
· Do not share, disclose, or provide your bank card number, or password, to another party or website other than your bank. Most banks will not send you an email requesting this information.
· Do not save your bank card number or password on a publicly accessed computer.
· If using a public access computer such as an Internet café or public library, change your password after completing your session by calling your bank’s telephone banking number.
· When selecting a password, choose a series of characters that cannot be easily guessed by anyone else. The best passwords are made up of an alpha-numeric combination that’s more than four characters long and a combination of capital and lower case letters.
· A password you use for any other service.
· Your name or a close relative’s name.
· Your birth date, telephone number or address, or those of a close relative.
· Your bank account number or bank card number.
Do not share your personal verification question answers with anyone, and do not disclose them in any emails. Giving your password answers to another person or company places your finances and privacy at risk.