As more and more companies provide online services, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people are falling victim to cybercrimes each year. If you’re going to be transacting on the World Wide Web, there are a few online security precautions you should consider taking.
Online banking and financial services apps are on the rise. These platforms make various services accessible to a wider audience, but they can also make users more vulnerable to online attacks and security breaches.
Depending on the type of transaction you’re completing, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind.
It’s easy to forget about security threats on the internet from day-to-day, but remember that your information may be easily accessed by anybody.
A good first step to enhancing your online security is to upgrade your passwords. As a start, ensure you have a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Also look at building passphrases instead – sentences that only you will know.
No matter how secure your password is, don’t use cloud services for any sensitive data – this includes DropBox, Evernote, iCloud or Google Drive – as these could be accessed by others remotely.
When browsing websites, remember that some are safer than others. Try to use websites with “https://” addresses. This ensures SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security and shows that your browser connection to the server is secure. If the padlock in the address bar is broken or is shown to be unlocked, the page is not SSL secured.
If you find that your computer is running slow, check your task manager to see if any strange or unknown programs are running in the background.
Online card transactions
Having transaction notifications sent to your mobile is the best way to ensure that your card is not being used online without your knowledge.
- Register to receive SMS notifications from your bank whenever there is activity on your account.
- Set up 3D security for your bank cards. You will receive a push notification or SMS to authorise any online transaction.
- Memorise your login details and PIN instead of writing them down.
Most viruses infect computers through email attachments, so be sure that you know the sender of any attachments and scan the email address carefully.
If you receive a fraudulent email claiming to be from your bank or financial services provider, inform them immediately.
Smartphone and app security
Most of us carry our smartphones everywhere with us. This puts these devices, and the information we store on them, at risk of being lost or stolen.
Set up a password for your phone and any apps that contain sensitive information. This can usually be done through your phone’s security settings or in the individual app. If your phone happens to go missing, you can be sure that your information is safe.
If you’re downloading a new app, check the reviews and ratings in your app store to ensure that it’s legitimate. If the app is made to store sensitive data, remove the shortcut from your home screen.
Install antivirus software. This will protect your phone from any malware that might be downloaded with emails or other data. Reliable antivirus options include Kaspersky Lab Internet Security, ESET Mobile Security and Norton Mobile Security.