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Finance US

Safe Online Banking Tips for the Beginner

With most of our everyday requirements met via our cell phones and computers, opening a bank account almost automatically means you’re going digital with banking. “Digital banking” may seem intimidating in the beginning. You’re wondering: is my money going to be safe? Are the transactions going to be secure? What if I lose a chunk of my savings like that woman in the newspapers did??

Wait, don’t go there! By following some safety tips and reminders, you can carry out your online banking activities assured that your money and transactions are secure.

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Double-check the website you open

One of the first things when starting online banking is to sign in to the bank’s website. Every time you’re opening this website, check and confirm if the URL is that of the real website. Fake websites imitating major bank websites and with similar URLs are designed by scammers to steal information. So, do not click any banking links you receive on emails and messages; instead, type it in yourself.

Don’t share your information

You suddenly have new highly unique login usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions, and more to remember. These are the different methods of access to your online bank account. Do not share your PIN and password information with anyone, not even bank representatives. These unique combinations are for your knowledge only!

a person transacting an online payment through their phone

Set strong passwords

Don’t set passwords that hackers or people who know you can easily guess. Make your passwords strong right from the beginning by combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Get creative with them! Example: H0t$oup90

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Don’t use public WiFi

Don’t trust public WiFi to give you secure access to your online banking website or an app you’re using to make a payment. Information entered while connected to a public or a widely shared WiFi can be collected by hackers and frauds.

Pro tip: Install anti-virus on both your laptop and phone/tablet. Keep the operating systems updated.

Is your payment app safe to use?

There are several transaction apps that make it even easier to transfer from and receive funds to your bank account, like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal. As a beginner, you may be subjected to more such apps that are not well-known; confirm its safety!

Besides these, some shopping apps and apps that you want to update use their own payment gateway. Avoid these unless you’re certain of their authenticity!

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a woman accessing her online banking wallet through her phone, standing in her kitchen

Screenshot all your payments

Even as a beginner, you will soon be making many money transactions digitally. Take a screenshot for proof (if ever needed) of all transactions made via websites and apps. These will also serve as reminders and help you keep track of your expenditure.

Watch your step in the app stores

You may have an app that you want to pay and upgrade, or want to pay for the installment of an important app. You’ll be doing this on Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and other “app stores.” Double- and triple-check which options are turned on and which checkboxes are checked. This is because app stores sometimes store your bank account details and use them on other apps without your permission.

Pro tip: Right from the beginning, frequently check your online banking account. Keep a track of all transactions and ensure you know what each is associated with – however small the transaction is.

If you find something suspicious, report the issue to your bank immediately. With these security tips in mind, you can heave a sigh of relaxation and go ahead with your digital banking, be it for regular transactions or for saving!

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