Online banking can be described as fast, easy and convenient.

Whether you want to check balances, pay your bills, make transfers or even deposit checks using only your smartphone’s camera, online banking allows you to do it all, without going to the bank and waiting in the long queue’s we all know so well.

But be aware, it does come with certain risks.

Remember, there might be cyber criminals or identity thieves who will take advantage of anything you do online.

One of the most common and probably their most favorite way that fraudsters use to access your internet banking, is by sending you an email that says you need to follow the link and change your password.

Now to begin with – your bank would NEVER ask you to do that. If there should be any issue regarding your account, they will CALL you.

If you follow these tips below you will be able to use online banking safely:

1. Use a strong password

To do this you can use a long password that is a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and even special characters. Just make sure that you will be able to remember it.

If it would make things easier you can always use a password manager. You should always avoid making use of common words or phrases.

Try to avoid creating passwords that contains your date of birth, your initials or even name – sometimes it might just be too easy to guess.

2. Protect your computer

Security software is a must on any computer these days.

Make sure you have a firewall turned on and that you have antivirus-software running.

Having antivirus-spyware is also a good choice. This will ensure that you are protected from Trojans, Key loggers and any other form of malware.

You should also keep your operating system and software up-to-date.

3. Do not use public computers

It is always best when you’re banking to make use of computers and networks that you know and trust.

Using public computers at libraries or internet cafes just increases your risk of being a victim of internet fraud, since the passwords can be traced or seen by others.

If you must make use of them remember the following:

  • Clear the cache and browser history
  • Delete all temporary files
  • Never allow the browser to remember passwords.
  • Always log out after your session

Accidents happen, and it might just be that you forget to log out of your account. So it’s always a good idea to practice logging out after your session/transaction.

If you are looking for some extra precaution, you can always set up private browsing on your computer or smartphone, and at the same time set your browser to clear its cache after each session.

4. Set up notifications

This is very helpful. If your bank offers this facility, you should definitely use it.

You as customer can set up text or email notifications, which will alert you of certain activities in your account.

5. Monitor your account

After any transaction, it is a good idea to check your account online to verify that the correct amount has been deducted or added.

Online banking is available 24/7, so you can check your account regularly (monthly/weekly).

If you notice any discrepancies/unusual activity, you should contact your bank immediately.

Now that you know what safety tips to use when it comes to banking, whether it is at the ATM, making a purchase or online, you will be able to avoid becoming a victim of banking fraud.

Remember to always be safe and aware at all times.