Today's computing environment is obviously a lot more sophisticated than it was a few years ago. When the Internet was new, there was barely a trace of criminal activity. Unfortunately, as the Internet has become a way of life, and the population has grown, so have the less desirable elements. It is unfortunate that we have to maintain such vigilance to protect what is ours but we try our best to make it easy for you. Here is a simple guide to protect yourself while engaging in online transactions, especially banking.
- This may sound simple but do not just let anyone use your computer. Control its physical access.
- Should you need to be away from your computer - lock, log off or shut it down.
- You guessed it - passwords - change them frequently and make them difficult to guess. Like we said before, think passphrase not password.
- Do not give your password to anyone; do not save them on the website or leave a sticky tab on your computer with them.
- If you see something that does not look right on your account, immediately contact the financial institution. Don't wait to see if it will correct itself. If it looks suspicious, it probably is.
- Of course, install all operating system (e.g. Linux, Macintosh, Windows, etc.) and application updates as well as and antivirus and antispyware applications.
- Do not simply click on links in an email to your bank's website. This is not a good practice as phishers prey on people who do so and simply direct them to their own criminal site. You know your bank's website address. You type it in the address line of your web browser and go there.
After you complete your transaction there are a couple of actions you should do:
a) Make sure you actually log out from the site. Do not just shut the browser or browser tab.
b) There is another step you can take to truly ensure privacy and security – clear your web browser’s cache. This is simple to do - just click on the options or preferences for your particular browser and clean it out. This may seem like overkill and may be you do not want to do it every time but if there is any public access to your computer, why take a chance.
c) At the very least shut the browser down, while this will not clear the cache it will fully disconnect the connection to your bank's server.
- Avoid financial transactions on public computers found at Internet Cafés or public kiosks. This is not really a good idea. However, if you have to, make sure you follow the steps above.
Source: Sunbelt Security News
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