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In the middle of 2017 few users do not use, even occasionally, some online banking service: check your account balance, make transactions and even download receipts and notifications from your bank.
Banking companies are making great efforts to digitalize banking management with their customers in a secure way, so that you can access your banking products on the Internet from anywhere and at any time, without having to be tied to the opening hours the bank branches.
However, despite this effort to improve the security of online banking services, it is still necessary to reinforce the weakest link in the chain: the user.
Cybercriminals know that it will not be easy to directly attack the bank to empty their coffers, so they focus on the vulnerability of customers and users of online banking services if they do not take the necessary precautions and, through a wide range of tricks and cheats, steal your user credentials. And you, are you protected during your online banking?
In fact, using common sense, you already have much of the battle won and you will be able to operate with online banking safely. All you need to have is a safe environment from which to operate with your bank. Let’s look at some of these tips to operate safely with online banking.
Use a secure network
Always use a secure network to perform online banking or payment via the Internet. This is one of the key tips to operate with online banking since if you connect from an open Wi-Fi network, or do not have the minimum guarantees of protection for your data, anyone with basic technical knowledge, and very bad intentions, you could be connected to the same network and monitor your traffic to get your bank credentials.
Therefore, when you need to operate with sensitive data such as your online bank, use only secure networks protected with a password, such as your home, or your work place. Even taking it to the extreme, you can avoid wireless connections and opt only for wired LANs, provided they are trusted.
Keep your computer and computer security software up to date.
The other basic pillar in the security of banking operations over the Internet is to perform them from a secure and well protected device, since, if the computer is compromised or infected with any Trojan, malware or any other malicious program, all data can leave it, could turn to cybercriminals, who would use it to plunder the balance of your accounts.
In order to avoid this, the equipment from which you carry out the banking operations must be up to date in the installation of all the updates of the operating system, the programs that you have installed and, above all, have an updated security software that guarantees the connections.
Some of these computer security solutions have specific modules to protect the security of banking operations. These types of security solutions, such as ESET Internet Security or ESET Smart Security Premium, not only protect your computer from virus or malware infections – which is no small thing – they also shield banking operations and Internet payments by protecting you you and your team in your visits to the online bank.
Do not access your bank from the mail or from advertising ads
If you have received an email from your bank that indicates that there has been an unexpected income or charge, or that it is necessary to verify your identity under the threat of blocking your accounts, it is more than likely fraud. only seeks to appropriate your credentials of access to online banking.
Your bank will never send you an email to enter the credentials of access, so you should never access your bank by clicking on any of the links that are included in these emails or from any external advertisement or website.
To make deception more plausible, cybercriminals will mimic the look of your bank’s website to make you believe that you’re actually on the authentic web, but in reality you’re just giving them your login details. This is what is known as Phishing.
This leads us to our next advice, to use only a secure browser to access your online bank, something that will also help you avoid phishing to get your banking access data.
Use a secure browser with data encryption
The browser is one of the key pieces to establish seamless navigation between you and your bank. To do it with all the security guarantees, it is ideal to do it from a browser that does not have any complement or extension activated so that, in case of a security vulnerability in those extensions, cybercriminals can not use it to compromise your bank access data.
At this point the banking protection systems integrated in the solutions of computer security are very useful since they allow to establish a safe navigation channel with the banking institutions, without the user having to worry about the technical details or complicated configurations that hide behind they.
This banking protection module, present in ESET Internet Security or ESET Smart Security Premium security tools , opens a secure window of your default browser in its minimum expression (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or the one that you have set as default ), leaving all plugins and plugins disabled and installing a secure ESET certificate that encrypts all communication between your computer and your online banking institution and no one will be able to intercept your bank details, passwords or other sensitive data.
Since the user can interactively configure which web addresses are opened with the encrypted and secure browser of the bank protection system, simply add the web address of your online bank or payment platform to this security tool. Thus, if as discussed in the previous advice, you suffer a phishing attack you will know that, when the browser does not automatically open when accessing the supposed portal of your bank, you are not really visiting your bank, but a page created to deceive you.
Be careful what you write and where you write it
Directly related to the security and protection of the PC that you use for online banking operations we find another trick used by cybercriminals to get your credentials to access your online accounts: keyloggers.
Keyloggers are very basic programs whose only mission is to record the keystrokes of the keyboard, to send everything you write to a remote server from which cybercriminals will only have to extract the access keys to your online banking that you have written since your team.
Keyloggers can be installed on your computer camouflaged after installation of any other legitimate infected program and remain invisible unless you have the necessary security tools to unmask them. That is why it is important not to access online banking services from public computers (cybercafes, hotels, etc.) or from equipment without reliable or non-updated computer security solutions.
In addition to protecting your computer against malware, spyware and other infections with the tools included in your security suite, ESET’s banking protection module encrypts all communications between your system and the bank, so your passwords and data access may not be recorded by any keylogger or spyware.
Use secure passwords unique to online banking
Yes, it is true, passwords are a real nuisance and it is hard to remember all of them, but the security of your money is well worth the effort to create a secure password and use it exclusively for that online banking service.
To do this you should never use your name, phone number, date of birth or any other information that can be easily related to you since cybercriminals often use social engineering to get closer to you directly and knowing these data is relatively easy to visit your profiles in social networks.
Try to have between 6 and 12 characters, in which you should change uppercase, lowercase, numbers and signs (such as +, asterisks, dashes, etc.) whenever the platform of your bank allows it.
Obviously, since you have invested time and effort in creating a secure password for online banking services, do not share it with anyone or leave it anywhere in the hands of anyone.
Keep track of your bank statement
The efforts of banks to make online banking services more accessible to all their customers have made them available for both mobile and computer platforms, so access your online bank – securely, yes-periodically for controlling the movements of your accounts does not involve any effort and you can do it at any time of the day.
With this you will be able to immediately detect unauthorized movements or fraud in your online accounts and report them to your bank to recover your money, help your bank investigate the source of the fraud and prevent further consequences.
Close your session, always
When you go out to the street you close the door of your house, when you get to your destination you get out of the car and close it, why not do the same with the session of your online bank?
When you have finished your online banking efforts, use the Close session or disconnect button to end your session in the application of your entity. That way, even if you do not use a secure browser – something we strongly recommend you use, the next time you access your banking services you will be required to identify yourself with your login credentials.
Otherwise, if your browser remembers the last session open, you could access your account without having to enter either password or username.