With the advent of the internet, our technology has evolved in such a way that nearly every part of our lives can be benefitted with near instantaneous flow of information. This, of course, includes personal finance. Banks have made it easy for us to access our accounts and keep an eye on our money using their secure web sites. With phones becoming more useful, we now have mobile applications so that we can even take a quick look at our accounts while on the go.
It is great to see how we can access the bank without actually having to go one, or an ATM. However, some speculate that with new possibilities to look into our accounts, other people have potential to see them as well. Therefore, it is very important to follow a strict set of rules when you want to look at your bank account through the internet.
First and foremost, make sure that when you access your account, it is only on your computer or device that you do not share with anyone else you don’t know or trust. Using any public computer for something involving your money or personal information is always a bad idea.
Secondly, you have to know what is on your computer in terms of software, and that it is clean of viruses. It is highly recommended that you install antivirus software to make sure that there is nothing you don’t want on the computer. A virus can log everything you type, the websites you visit, the applications you use, etc. If your information gets compromised, a person can hijack your accounts. Therefore, make sure your computer is clean before you bank on it.
Third, when you finish accessing your account, make sure to log off properly and to completely close the web browser when you finish. If possible, see about clearing your history and cache; that way none of your information is retained by the web browser.
Fourth, if you do banking on a mobile device using an application, make sure it was developed and licensed by your bank and not some third party. It could potentially be a scam to steal your information. If you use a mobile web browser to check your account, follow the same directions as the third rule. If your device gets stolen, it would be wise to change your login information so that the thief cannot access any account you have activated on your device.
By following each of these rules, you will have very low risk of having your information stolen online. Always remember to keep your information to yourself, especially online. Online banking can be extremely useful in many situations, but it is up to you to keep your information safeguarded.