Online banking is one of the most convenient features of modern day banking. You no longer need to visit your branch or stand in queues. Especially for NRIs who cannot physically visit their banks in India, online banking is a great convenient feature. But with great convenience comes great risks. Follow these 10 tips and you can minimize the risks and bank safely online:
1. Always check the URL of your bank’s web site. If you see anything other than the bank’s genuine URL, you know it is fake. Secure websites have https:// as well as a padlock sign on the address bar. Never enter your user ID or password or such sensitive information without ascertaining that you are on the right web site.
2. Check if your bank has two-factor authentication for online banking. Most banks have this feature that would require you to answer optional questions or provide OTP (one time password) for transactions.
3. If you are an Indian staying abroad, link your Indian bank account with your regularly used mobile number (Qatar number for instance). This will ensure you are notified whenever there is a transaction or login attempt. If you see any such notification immediately call the bank’s international helpline.
4. Use strong passwords. The best way to achieve this is by making it long and a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Keep changing your password at least once a month. And remember it!
5. If you have several bank accounts, avoid using the same online banking password for all.
6. Make sure the ‘Auto-complete’ and ‘Remember Password’ options are turned off.
7. Secure your computer or mobile device and keep it up-to-date with the latest security patches. Install these only from a trusted web site.
8. Access your accounts from a secure location. Avoid cyber cafes and free Wi-Fi available in public places like shopping malls. Don’t leave the computer or mobile device unattended after keying in information while transacting on the web site.
9. Always log out when you exit the online banking portal. Close the browser to ensure that your secure session is terminated. Never exit simply by closing the browser.
10. Avoid clicking through emails. A reputed bank will never send you an email asking you to provide any of your login details.