E-banking’s popularity has dramatically risen in the last decade or so. That’s mainly due to the fact that you can manage your bank account from the comfort of your home without having to pay your bank a visit. You can even complete all your online banking transaction on the go. But is E-banking safe? In this guide, I will demonstrate the most common online banking threats. You can also find some useful tips on how to make your e-banking safer.
E-Banking Scams on the Rise
As you can see from the graph below, there is a steady rise in the amount of money stolen via Internet banking fraud. The amounts are in British Pounds and cover the UK only.
Is E-Banking Safe? Top 5 E-Banking Threats
- Phishing: Cyber criminals regularly sent emails to unsuspecting customers pretending to be their bank. The email usually contains links to dubious websites set up to look similar to your bank’s website. Victims type in their bank account’s details allowing fraudsters to easily steal them. Fake text message are also used for the same purposes.
- ‘Card Not Present Fraud’: Also one of the most common e-banking threats. Criminals steal your card details and then use it to purchase goods/services online.
Wi-Fi Eavesdropping: WiFi eavesdropping is most common when using a public WiFi hotspot. Criminals use this technique to capture your personal information by spying on your browsing activity. Non-encrypted Wifi connection are especially vulnerable to WiFi eavesdropping.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attacks (MITM): In this type of threat, the hacker inserts his/her own messages into the traffic between the victim’s computer and the website they are trying to reach. The hacker then redirects the unsuspecting victims to a malicious website that looks almost identical to the authentic one they wish to visit. This allows the cyber criminal to collect valuable personal data.
- Vishing: Some also call it ‘telephone fraud’. Criminals might call you pretending to be either your bank or the police. They would falsely state that somebody has compromised your bank account, encouraging you to move your money to a safer place in the process. Never share your private banking information with anybody, neither on phone nor online.
Tips to Keep your E-Banking Safe
- Regularly change your password. If possible, use small and capital letters. Also try to include numbers and symbols in your password.
- Do not use public computers to complete online purchases.
- Do not share your bank account with anybody. Your bank will never ask you for your account’s credentials, neither by email nor by phone.
- Make sure you have a reliable antivirus program setup on your computer. Norton, Avast, and McAfee are all good examples.
- Check your transaction history on regular basis. In case you suspect dubious amounts of money being withdrawn, contact your bank immediately.
- Use a virtual private network, VPN, to increase your online privacy and security.
Is E-Banking Safe? Use VPN
Even if you implement tips 1 to 5 listed above, there still is a chance that a hacker might infiltrate your Internet connection and steal your private data. This practice is especially common when you are using a public WiFi hotspot. These hotspots are vulnerable and are always targeted by potential criminals. The best way to add an extra layer of privacy and security to your online banking, whether at home, restaurant, airport, hospital, or school, is VPN.
VPN is very effective against both MITM attacks and WiFi Eavesdropping. When you connect to a VPN server all your traffic is securely encrypted, making it virtually impossible for cyber criminals to eavesdrop on your online banking.
Both law firms and accounting companies have used VPN for a long time. There are five common VPN protocols you can use: Open VPN, IPSec, LT2P, and PPTP. Open VPN is by far the most secure.
Setting up VPN does not require any tech skills. You can easily download and install a VPN app on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Best VPN Provider to Keep your Online Banking Safe
If you are constantly on the go, investing in one of the top VPN providers listed below has to be your priority. ExpressVPN, for example, use high strength 256-bit encryption to protect their users’ sensitive data from prying eyes. Thus, you can complete all your online banking transactions without having to worry about being monitored by hackers, even when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Is E-Banking Safe – Conclusion
So, is E-banking safe or not? Well, even the most canny of us can be outwitted by cyber criminals. The techniques that are being used to steal bank account details are getting more and more innovative. Follow the tips listed above and use VPN for safer online banking. The saying ‘better safe than sorry’ applies best in this case.