Online banking has become ubiquitous in recent years because of its convenience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more people into the realm of digital shopping and banking, and seniors are no exception. A study by Lightico shows that during the six-month period of the survey that was done in 2020 among 1,329 Americans, 100% of seniors over the age of 66 completed an online financial transaction. In comparison, this number was 93% among those aged 18–39 and 95% for those in the 40–65 age group. The survey further reports that 26% of seniors opined that they would avoid in-person banking altogether.
Interestingly, the survey showed that seniors were also the ones who were most concerned about security. Other reports and surveys also bring the spotlight on security, as a majority of seniors fear a potential financial loss in online transactions.
If you’re also concerned about security, here are some tips and tricks you can follow to make your online banking practices more secure.
Online Banking Tip #1: Watch the Red Flags
If something sounds too good to be true, it’s a scam, and you must stay away from it. Always reach out to the sender, whether it’s an individual, store, or bank directly through a call, before making any financial transaction. For example, if you get an email that says you must update your SSN at the bank to continue to receive your pension, call the bank directly to check if this is true. Most times, these messages are sent by scammers who want to steal your personal information, so learn to identify them.
Online Banking Tip #2: Never Share Personal Information
Never provide sensitive information like your bank account or SSN to anyone over the phone or by email. If someone calls and says they are from the IRS, bank, or any other government institution, simply hang up, as it can be a scammer trying to scare you into providing your personal information. If you’re in doubt, call the IRS or bank to check if they have a message for you.
Online Banking Tip #3: Avoid Public Wi-Fi and Computers
Avoid banking or shopping through public Wi-Fi networks, as these are potential places where hackers gather your personal information. Instead, use your smartphone’s cellular connectivity to bank or shop in public places.
Likewise, avoid logging into your online banking website or shopping for anything from a public computer. Even if you must, make sure you log out of the site.
Online Banking Tip #4: Check the Security of Your Bank’s Website
Before you visit your bank’s website, make sure the web address or URL starts with https:// and not http://. Also, you can see a padlock icon on the address bar if the site you’re visiting is a safe and secure one. You must check this security aspect before you make any financial transaction online.
Online Banking Tip #5: Setup Transaction Alerts
Banks can send alerts to your phone or email every time a credit card is used. Make sure to set up these alerts, so you can notify the bank immediately in case of a fraudulent transaction. You can even request a callback from your branch if you’d like to know more about the safety and security of their digital products.
In all, the above tips can add extra layers of security to your online banking transactions and can bring down the chances of a financial loss. Besides the above tips, it’s always a good idea to install an advanced antivirus like Sophos that can protect your device from phishing and hacking.
If you have any questions about safe online banking or believe your device has been hacked, call us right away at (480) 576-5833.
At Threat Alliance, we specialize in cybersecurity solutions for individuals and small businesses and can help keep you safe online.
To know how protected you are, take our readiness test.