Some of the bank customers avoid doing any financial transactions online due to fear of some inherent risks, which is associated with online banking. Some of the major threats associated while doing an online financial transaction include:
Phishing: Phishing remains the most common risk related to online financial transactions. Here, attackers send bogus emails, which resemble a secure message from a legitimate bank or such financial institutions. Such emails typically include a link to a hoax website, which looks indistinguishable from the real one. Once you provide your login details on such sites, your most confidential login credentials are inadvertently sent directly to the bad people.
Malware: Malware is designed to steal the banking credentials by inject themselves into the running browser processes and gaining full control. It means that such banking malware knows the websites, which you open, and is aware of exactly what you are doing on such sites which includes your login ids and passwords.
Zeus: It’s a Trojan which recruits the infected machines into a massive botnet, and then uses the website monitoring and keylogging for the purpose of stealing banking credentials.
Ramnit: It is a file infector, which spreads primarily through the removable drives. It gathers several types of login details, including the ones relating to online banking.
Tips to Safeguard Yourself While Using Online Banking
Be careful with your emails
As mentioned above, phishing is an effective attack vector, which exploits natural human weaknesses through emails. You should combat phishing by staying vigilant while checking emails. Be wary of links, which are included in your emails, and avoid opening any attachments unless it is necessary to do so, and also it is important to remember that a legitimate and a genuine bank would never ask for your passwords, PIN, TAN or such other credentials.
Avoid using public computers or public Wi-Fi when banking online
Anytime you are on the public Wi-Fi, you need to be of the mindful that someone could access the browser history and password. So, if you’re doing anything which requires you to log in or reading emails, you’re putting yourself at a great risk.
Use a licensed version of anti-virus software
Even the MacBook users require investing in a good anti-virus software. Ensure that you check for the latest updates frequently. You could either set the computer to automatically check for the updates and alert you for the same or you can yourself check for the updates regularly.
Keeping your software up-to-date
Most of the attacks rely on exploiting the security flaws in the piece of software. For fixing such vulnerabilities, software developers release regular updates, which bolster the security of the applications. Minimize the risk of becoming the victim of an online security breach by keeping your software always up-to-date and switching to automatic updates where possible.
Choose a good password
You should know that the attackers do not always break into your banking account by stealing your banking details – at times, they guess it. You could reduce such risk of guess attacks by selecting a unique, random and a long password. It is advisable not to use a word, as words are easy to guess, particularly in case they are related to you like the maiden name of your mother, or your pet’s name or street where you reside. Instead, use a combination of both the upper case as well as lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.
Change passwords regularly
The best thing, which you could do, to protect yourself with online banking is to change your passwords at regular intervals say 90 days. It is advisable that you regularly change your password and each time your password should be distinctly different from the previous one.
It is very important that you understand the risks, which are associated with online banking and take prudent steps to avoid such a threat to your financial as well as personal life. If you follow the aforesaid tips and stay hyper-vigilant when banking online, your online banking experience will always be a comfortable one.