Online Banking, whether done on a computer or cell phone, is the most utilized method for accessing accounts.
Online Banking allows us to access our funds anywhere at any time, provides the benefit of being able to establish e-mail or text alerts, the ability to transfer funds with ease and so much more! Unfortunately, Online banking is also a common avenue for cybercriminals to steal personal information. Use these tips to help protect your online banking security and help keep cybercriminals out of your accounts.
1. Avoid public Wi-Fi connections.
Most of us don’t think twice about connecting our devices when we see free Wi-Fi available, but maybe we should. Public connections are a hotspot for hackers to steal your personal information and you won’t even know it’s happening. Be smart when connecting to a public network. Protect yourself by using a VPN, making sure the websites you visit are “HTTPS” and turn off the Wi-Fi when you’re not using it. Understanding the risks that come with public Wi-Fi connections can help protect your account information.
2. Utilize two-factor authentication.
Generally, two-factor authentication uses a normal password and then adds an extra step of sending an email or text message with a second temporary code. While there is no guarantee that you won’t get hacked it’s less likely. Whenever you log-in to your online accounts with Ameris Bank you will be asked to verify your account through security questions and/or a one-time authentication code. If you have accounts elsewhere, ask your bank if you can set up two-factor authentication there as well. This will add an extra layer of security for logging into accounts. Read more about two-factor authentication on our recent blog post, How Two-Factor Authentication Protects Your Online Info.
3. Keep your security software up-to-date.
Ensure you have the latest security software, web browser and operating system. This is your great defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. To help ensure you do not miss the newest fixes as they become available, turn on automatic updates for your computer and mobile devices.
4. Set strong passwords.
A strong password consist of at least 8 characters and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid using dictionary words. Try remembering a phrase and use the first letter from each word in the phrase. For example, “I joined the Ameris Bank team in 2017” my password could be “IjtABti#2017.” Also, try to avoid using the same password for all your accounts. If a hacker finds one password they will now have access to everything.
5. Monitor your accounts.
One of the easiest ways to find out if you have fallen victim to a cybercrime is to monitor your accounts. Help protect yourself by checking your accounts regularly. The sooner you can notify your bank that something is wrong, the better.
To learn more about protecting yourself online visit our Online & Mobile Security page.
The information voiced in this material is for general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.