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Staying safe when banking online.

Online banking has a convenience factor that is hard to rival, especially when you consider mobile banking which allows you to deposit checks and stay on top of your account from anywhere. However, the transmission of information over the Web can mean that someone with malicious intent is able to gain access to your sensitive bank information. In the worst case scenario, if someone is able to get your password and log in he may also be able to figure out your bank account numbers or make transfers out of your account. Here are some ways you can stay save while taking advantage of online banking.

Virus Protection

Before you ever sign on to an online bank account, make sure that your computer is protected by a virus protection tool. A virus protection program will alert you if your banking site’s security is compromised, and also prevents an unauthorized person from hacking into your computer remotely and tracking your activity. Virus tools can run in the background of your system and also conduct specific scans to look for threats. Always make sure that your virus protection is up to date.

Site Security

Internet browsers are committed to letting you know if a site is secure. Secured sites, like banking websites, are protected by a level of encryption that makes it safe to conduct financial business. The symbol for a secure site is usually a lock in the URL bar at the top of your screen, or the bottom right corner of the browser. Each Internet browser is different, so research the method that your browser uses to indicate a safe site and always check for the symbol before you log on to online banking. If there is a red exclamation point or the lock is missing, there is a chance that the security of the site has been temporarily compromised.

Unique Log In

Don’t use the same user name and password combination on your bank site that you use on any other site. This makes it possible for someone who hacks into your other online accounts to also find you on a banking site. For instance, if your Twitter account is hacked because someone is able to figure out your user name and password combination, it wouldn’t be hard for him to take the same email and password and try them on various banking websites until he successfully logs in. By making sure that your online banking log in information is unique to that site – and not a variation on any other password, either – you increase your security when online banking.

Managing your money online is easy and it can also be safe – if you take the proper steps. Don’t forget to use an active firewall on your computer as well, and password protect any wireless Internet networks so outsiders can’t infiltrate them. When in doubt, make certain that your bank as a no-risk policy when it comes to online banking; these policies won’t leave you on the hook for funds lost when someone hacks into the site and makes unauthorized transactions with your checking or savings accounts.

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