You’re worried about your banking information falling into the wrong hands. You don’t want to wake up one day, open up your online banking app and realize that someone has used your account to make a slew of unauthorized charges.
So, how can you be sure that your account is secure? These are some tips to boost your account’s security.
Set Up Mobile Alerts
Your banking app might offer a feature called “mobile alerts.” Mobile alerts can notify you when something potentially suspicious occurs with your bank account, which could warn you if you’ve become a victim of identity theft. The early warning will help you react to the emergency right away so that you can notify your bank, prevent unauthorized transactions and minimize your losses.
One useful mobile alert is the “unusual account activity alert.” This alert could trigger when your account processes a larger-than-ordinary purchase or a purchase made in an international location far from your current destination.
These are some other mobile alerts that you could set up:
- Large purchase alert
- Large ATM withdrawal alert
- Profile change alert
Create a Strong Password
Creating a strong password is important to protect yourself from identity theft. If you use a weak password, you’re not setting up a very strong defense against hackers. Your account could be very easy to break into.
What makes a strong password? It should include the following characteristics:
- 12-14 characters in total
- Uppercase and lowercase characters
- Symbols (!@$&)
Use Two-Way Authentication
Two-way authentication asks users to create a password in order to log into their bank account, and then confirm that they’ve logged in through a second step. This second step is usually a confirmation text message, email or notification that contains a login code.
Setting up two-way authentication will increase the cybersecurity of your account.
Turn the Bank Card Off
If you’re ever in a situation where your bank card is lost or stolen, you might be able to use your mobile app to stop it from being used for unauthorized purchases. Go through the mobile app to turn it “off” so that a stranger can’t access it from that point on. Then, contact your bank to notify them of the situation and arrange for a replacement card.
You should do this right after you notice the card is missing. Why? Under federal law, your liability for unauthorized debit purchases is $50. But this low liability amount is only accessible when you report the fraud within two business days after noticing the purchases. If you wait more than 60 days, that liability amount could increase to $500 or more.
Use a VPN
While mobile banking apps allow you to do your banking whenever and wherever, you should refrain from doing it when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi does not offer a secure connection. Using it for your banking makes you vulnerable to hackers who can gain access to your most sensitive information.
You should only do your banking while you’re on a private connection. If you ever want to do your banking outside of the home, consider getting a virtual private network (VPN). This can keep your sensitive information safe.
Do Your Research First
Always do your research before you give a website your personal banking information. You’ll want to be sure that the website is legitimate, trustworthy and, most importantly, secure from cyberthreats.
For instance, you may want to take out an online loan in the future. An online loan can be a useful solution when you’re dealing with an emergency expense, and you don’t have enough money sitting in your savings account to pay for it all at once. You might be wondering are online loans safe for you to apply for? It depends on the financial institution offering them.
Take some time to research the institution’s reputation online. Look up whether your personal information is encrypted for safety. Read the FAQs, the Terms and Conditions and the Legal pages. All of these details will help you make an informed and hopefully cybersafe decision.
You want your bank account to be an impenetrable safe. So, use these tips to boost its security!