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Protect Your Identity: How to Use Online Shopping and Online Banking Wisely – Part III



Protect Your Identity | Part I | Part II | | Part III |

How to Use Online Shopping and Online Banking Wisely – 

The development and increased usage of the Smart Phone has introduced a new method of online banking through cell phones. This has made it necessary to implement even stronger security measures to protect users of mobile banking.



Online banking systems have many ways of encrypting your login information in order to maintain security. Cookies store information on a web page and save your login information. While this is fine for many sites, it would be disastrous on a banking site. It would allow anyone to access your bank account through your computer or phone. Cookies are not allowed to save passwords on bank sites. This prevents anyone with access to your digital device from freely logging into your account.



Security systems are also in place to monitor which computers you use to log on to the bank site. Whenever you log on to the site from a computer that is not your regular home computer, you are asked to provide additional information. Most banking systems will generate a security question that you answered during account setup.

You have to provide the correct answer as well as recognize a visual image in order to enter your password again and access the site. Further security protocols have also been added recently.

Many current systems now require that you receive a special code through a text message or email which will grant account access on a new device or computer. 

One practice that is highly encouraged by all online companies, and particularly banks, is to change your password on a regular basis. This is the simplest solution to protect your private information.

Since the cost and time commitment required to hack one individual account on a bank’s website isn’t worth the pain, unless the victim is a billionaire, then the only real way for your account to be hacked is human error. If you let someone see your password then of course they will be able to access your account.

In order to reset a password, banks require not only your social security number but your account or card number as well. This would make it very difficult for someone to log into your account by resetting your password—unless you leave sensitive materials lying around, such as a checkbook and your social security card. 

As a last security measure, banks have set their pages to detect fraud by locking your account if an incorrect password is entered too many times. The account user is required to call customer service and answer security questions in order to regain access to their account.



Example


Recent news has reported that three major companies had their security systems hacked—Sony, Google, and Citibank. About 1 percent of Citibank users had their names, account numbers and contact information stolen. The company was forced to immediately reissue account numbers to those users whose information was lost. While this wasn’t due to irresponsibility on the part of bank users, it stands to show that even encrypted information can be stolen. Extreme precaution should be taken when using online banking systems, whether through your computer or phone.

Make sure you regularly check your account to ensure that everything looks the way you expect. Report any issues to the bank immediately and freeze your account.

About the Author: 
Natalie Clive is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com.
My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right
for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.

We would like to thank our guest writers on the Online Security Authority Blog! We feel it’s a honor and pleasure, to have others participate and contribute to the great content, advice and opinions on and in this Online World, we all live in… help us, help them, by supporting and visiting their sites!

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