How to stay safe while online banking

It’s natural to feel protective over your hard-earned money, especially when you rarely physically see it anymore. So much of our banking takes place over computers and smartphones, and only one in six payments are made in cash. This makes it more important to feel confident that your savings are safe.

There are various ways banks in the UK must secure their online services, though. Strong Customer Authentication added extra steps for online logins and payments from 2019. Other checks include Confirmation of Payee, which warns you when account names don’t match account details.

Criminals are always finding new ways to target people, though, so it’s important to stay one step ahead. Read our practical tips for safe online banking below.

Use strong passwords

Do you tend to ignore recommendations to strengthen your passwords? Random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols can be tricky to remember. However, they’re also harder for others to guess.

It’s wise to update your passwords regularly too. And make sure you don’t repeat passwords across accounts and banking providers, either.

Avoid banking on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi in cafes, transport hubs, and shops might be convenient, but it also poses serious security risks. This is because connecting to public Wi-Fi makes it easier for hackers to access your device and steal your information.

It’s best to avoid any online activities that involve inputting personal information. Alternatively, consider installing a VPN for Mac, Windows, or another platform of your choice. VPNs effectively make public connections private, hiding your data from anyone who might be snooping.

Set up two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication takes login security further by adding a second step. This might mean having a code texted to your registered phone or sent to you by email. This stops someone with your banking password from being able to do anything with it. A few extra seconds of work is worth it for the peace of mind!

Update your device

Software updates are another feature of digital life that can feel frustrating. You might have to wait a few minutes to use your device and will rarely notice any difference. But most updates tighten security gaps that you’d never know about.

It’s wise, then, to perform recommended updates promptly. Setting up automatic updates is the easiest way to do this.

Check your account

Finally, make sure to regularly check your transactions, including amounts and payees. Let your bank know and change your password if you spot anything you don’t recognise.

There’s no doubt that online banking is quicker and more convenient than traditional methods. You’ll be free to enjoy the benefits without worry if you pick a trusted provider and follow the precautions above.

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