How to Protect Your Money While Online Banking

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A March 2019 statistic states that 88% of Canadians were doing their banking online over the previous year.  It’s probably safe to assume that this number has risen since the onset of the COVID pandemic.  If you’re one of those doing your personal and/or business banking online, there are steps you need to be taking to protect yourself and your money.

  1. Ensure your computer has up-to-date virus protection. Ideally, this should be a next-generation type antivirus protection such as SentinelOne.  Traditional antivirus software was developed in the 1990’s so is less and less effective.
  2. Ensure your computer is protected by a firewall. This could be a physical piece of hardware or a software solution.
  3. Your banking passwords should be very difficult to guess and not used elsewhere. The best option is to use a reputable password manager that will generate and save complex passwords for you.  Another approach is to use a nonsensical phrase with a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols, such as Mycat@22hastwotails!!
  4. If your banking site offers it, set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) as another layer of protection beyond simply a username and password.
  5. Don’t use free public WiFi to conduct any type of confidential activity, unless you are first connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Otherwise, information you transmit over a free public WiFi connection could be accessed.  For instance, the connection could appear to be offered by the coffee shop you’re sitting in, when in fact an imposter has set up a WiFi connection in the name of the coffee shop and can see all your on-line activity.
  6. Any apps offered by your bank should only be downloaded directly from your bank or from an app store that your bank directs you to.
  7. Your bank should never be asking you for personal information such as your online banking password, PIN or credit card number. They already have that information.  If you receive a request for information that seems odd, inquire with your bank using an email address or phone number that you know is legitimate; not one provided in the unusual communication.
  8. The Canadian Bankers Association offers a free email newsletter on fraud prevention that informs Canadians on the latest frauds and scams. You can subscribe to it here.

BSC Solutions Group offers a range of Cyber Security solutions to help businesses protect themselves.  Lean more about these solutions here.