Internet banking is a convenient way to manage your finances, anytime, anywhere. You can check your accounts, pay bills and purchase products wherever you are as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.
The problem with internet banking is that is not always secure. There are hundreds of horror stories about people who lost their savings to thieves who managed to hack into their on line accounts. A lot of banks with on line banking services have little or no security measures in place to protect their clients. And identity thieves are becoming more and more adept at stealing your personal information to access your bank accounts.
Thieves usually use scams to get information from you and your bank. You can protect yourself by knowing what kinds of scams these thieves use to steal your information. When you’re familiar with these scams, you’ll be less likely to fall for them and you can install protective measures to avoid them. Here are some of the more common internet banking scams.
Common Internet Banking Scams
- Computer Viruses. Hackers often send out viruses to steal information like usernames and passwords to unsuspecting victims. Once your computer becomes infected, the virus sends your information back to the hacker. The thieves, in turn, use your username and password to access your internet banking account and transfer your money to their account. This method is commonly used because it’s so simple, effective, and cheap.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to protect yourself from these malicious viruses. You just need to extra vigilant and have really good antivirus software installed on your computer. Before going on line and using any external storage devices, like flash drives or DVDs, always turn on your antivirus software. Update your software regularly to make sure any old or new viruses out there could infect your computer.
- Phishing. Phishing is type of scam wherein the hacker “fishes” for information by sending you emails or fake web pages that look like they came from your bank. These emails or web pages would get your information by asking for your username and password. This scam is so effective because it looks legitimate. It’s so believable in fact that even those who work in on line banking can be tricked into giving sensitive banking information through phishing.
The only way you can protect yourself from phishing is by being vigilant. Whenever you get an email that looks like it came from your bank, make sure you check the all the details. One way you can tell the difference from a phishing email from a legitimate email from your bank is with their email address. The email address that came from your bank would come from your bank’s official website. It’s the same thing with fake and legitimate websites. Your bank’s website would have a secure URL that starts with https://, then your bank’s name, and a padlock icon in the end.