Online banking safety 101

by | Apr 27, 2023

A woman leans against a wall in the night, practicing online banking safety.
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In today’s digital world, online banking offers more options than ever before. Although the many apps available may seem confusing at first, managing your finances online is easy once you learn a few basics. Online banking sites and apps are a great option for keeping track of your spending, but it’s important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind.

But before we cover these common online banking security concerns and how to handle them, let’s discuss why you should do your banking online in the first place.

What are some advantages of online banking?

A woman deposits a check at a cafe with an online banking app.

There are plenty of ways you can simplify your life by taking advantage of online banking:

  • Deposit checks online. You won’t have to go into a brick-and-mortar bank location to put that money in your account anymore. Just snap a few photos through your bank’s app, and you’re all set!
  • Transfer money virtually. Sometimes you need to move money right away, either to a loved one or between your own accounts to pay for something. Online instant transfers make this a breeze.
  • Access your bank on the go. When you get your bank’s app on your mobile devices, you can access your account controls from just about anywhere. Remember that you need to pay the electric bill while you’re running errands? No problem—just pay online!
  • Manage online bank security immediately. If you see any red flags suggesting your bank account has been compromised, it’s much easier to get things back under control. You can chat with your bank’s customer service team, change your passwords, and even use two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep your accounts safe.

Common online banking safety risks

A woman holding a credit card looks at her laptop while learning about online banking safety.

While online banking has many perks and makes things like paying monthly bills super convenient, there are a few safety issues to be aware of.

Keep an eye out for these common risks:

  • Phishing scams. These scams are all about getting personal details that could be used to impersonate you and gain access to your accounts. Never provide personal information through email to anyone who claims to be from your bank unless you’ve confirmed that it’s them by calling your local branch.
  • Password compromises. Experienced hackers can gain access to your account through other means. That’s why it’s important to change your password often. Also, be sure to use a complex passphrase that is 15 characters or longer and not easy to guess.

Online bank security can be worrisome for anyone who’s new to digital banking if they don’t know the basics of staying safe. Luckily, there are several measures you can take to stay protected.

Use a password manager

When you set up a reliable password manager, you’ll only have to remember your master password while all others are kept safe in a digital vault.

An important thing to remember is that you don’t want to use the same password for everything. Reusing passwords is a security nightmare, especially as it could affect your finances. Password managers generate highly complex, unique passwords that are hard to crack. Then it’s up to you to create a good master password of your own!

Take advantage of 2FA

Two-factor authentication (2FA for short) is a great security tool that gives you an added layer of protection, boosting your online banking safety. When you sign into your account, you’ll be prompted to verify your identity using a second factor on top of entering your password. This could be a short term code from an Authenticator app, a one-time code sent to a previously designated device, or even biometric authentication such as a fingerprint.

Don’t share personal information online

Speaking of personal questions, make sure you avoid sharing the answers online. Don’t publicly post details about your past or present location, your family members’ names or locations, or schools you’ve attended. Only share personal information with familiar, trustworthy people. Otherwise, someone could use it to impersonate you.

Maximize your online banking safety

A senior woman on a train looks at her phone, practicing online banking safety.

Online banking comes with all kinds of convenient perks, such as being able to cash checks digitally and manage your accounts on the go. Although it comes with some security risks as well, you can take charge of your online banking security by remembering these handy tips. This is especially important while you connect through public WiFi.

With Quantum Fiber, you’ll finally be able to bank online with confidence through a fast, secure connection. Don’t forget to stop by our blog for plenty of other online security guides!

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