Getting your bank account hacked can turn into a nightmare. The life savings you’ve worked hard to put aside for years can vanish overnight. Banks can only protect your money by increasing their own security and educating you on how to proceed safely when making payments online. However, they can’t protect your PC from getting hacked or your bank account information from being stolen from an eCommerce website. In the end, it is up to you to take all the necessary measures to keep your money safe. Here are some steps you can take to keep your bank account out of reach of hackers.
Use a Strong Password
Almost every website where you create an account these days, especially one that will also require you to register your bank card asks you to choose a safe password. This implies numbers, letters, and special characters and it might be harder to keep in mind, but it will also be harder to crack for hackers. Any account that contains your bank information should have a varied password. Moreover, you should avoid using information such as your name, date of birth, or address in your passwords. This is predictable information hackers will first test in order to crack your bank account password if they manage to sneak into your computer. The length of the password is also important. The longer a password is, the harder it is to get past it.
Install Encryption Software on Your PC
Having a strong password is very important but it is not the only method that will keep hackers at bay. By investing in encryption software, you further boost your security. These types of programs are extremely popular and easy to access and use nowadays. Their popularity and the need for such solutions have also made them affordable. By using this type of software, the data and activity on your PC get encrypted, which makes it harder for hackers to access it.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
If hackers manage to get your credentials and would be able to log into your account, there is one more line of defense that can prevent them from accessing your finances: two-factor authentication (2FA). These extra security methods imply authorizing a transaction or access to your accounts by using a unique, one-time code you can receive by phone, email, or both. Without this code, no one can log into your account, and getting hold of it would only be possible if hackers gain access both to your account and phone simultaneously, which is unlikely.
Don’t Use Wi-Fi That Is Not Password Protected
Generally, you should avoid public Wi-Fi networks if you have sensitive information on your phone or you need internet access to make payments online or share sensitive data. Public networks, especially those that are not protected by passwords can be dangerous as anyone, including hackers, can access them. By accessing your internet banking account or simply having on your phone or PC files that contain your bank account information while using these networks can expose you to potential hacking attacks. Hackers who also use internet networks that are not password protected can access your personal information easier.
Avoid Phishing Emails
One of the most common ways for hackers to get into someone’s computer is through phishing emails. These emails can vary dramatically. Some look like promotional emails that come from reputable online retailers, others are well-curated, so they look as if they were sent by state institutions or banks. Their purpose is to get your bank account information or the credentials you use while logging into your account. To do this, hackers include in the email an attachment, button, or link you’re asked to access. By doing that, you download on your PC dangerous malware that can monitor your activity and steal your bank account details or credentials. To avoid this, be cautious before opening any unsolicited emails and avoid downloading their attachments or clicking on links before verifying the address where they take you. If the email is legitimate, the URL will correspond to an existing website you can find on google. If the letters of the URL are misspelled or the URL includes other characters, you might be dealing with a phishing attempt.
Keeping your bank account safe while browsing and making payments online is possible if you exercise the necessary caution, you adopt the measures above, and generally, you avoid making purchases from shady websites.
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