For those of you that don’t remember, there was once a time when all banking was done at the local branch. The bank branch had very limited hours was closed on weekends and in some cases was not very helpful. If you come from the developing world and are familiar with state and government run banks, you will remember that to get even the simplest transaction done at the bank would require hours of standing in line, many visits and maybe even some bribery. This all changed with the emergence of private banks but even then, banking hours were always too restricted to allow working people the opportunity to visit their local branches on business days.
Now, we have online banking and just like all good things, even something as mundane as online banking has the opportunity to spoil people. Because, people can now conduct simple transaction behind the veil of their web browsers, they seem to get a certain sense of privacy and security when that is farthest from the truth. If online banking is not conducted responsibly, there are ways for Internet thieves to get their hands on your money.
An easy way to avoid this is to take care of your email account. If you are using a free email service, it is important to constantly change your password because if someone hacks into your email and you have been getting bank statements emailed to you, then your bank account information is at risk. So, if you are indeed receiving bank statements in your email please download them and then delete the email.
Keep the downloaded statements in a backup drive like a flash drive or a CD and keep that separate from your computer. You could even print them out and file them if you like. But never print out a bank statement only to throw it out un-shredded into the trash. If you want to dispose of sensitive documents, please shred them well.
Another way to increase your security online is to never access your bank account from a cyber cafe or other public computer. This is one of the riskiest things you can do because these computers are almost never secure. A simply keylogger can enable anyone to steal your password and have their way with your finances. So, just like you are careful about telling people your ATM pin number, you must also use your common sense when dealing with Online Banking. A little common sense goes a long way in keeping you money secure.