Despite the security vulnerabilities present on the Internet, it is very difficult to stop doing our online banking transactions. If you are reading this, it is because you have probably recently used your online bank, bought something or made a money transfer online.
First, you have to make sure that your computer or mobile device is protected even before you make a transaction. This implies that the operating system, software and applications that will be involved in the financial transaction are also protected. If you have a traditional computer, this means that you are working with the latest version of Windows, OS X or any other operating system.
Mobile devices are a bit different. For these, you’ll also want to ensure an upgraded operating system, be it iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile or whatever. The mobile environment differs slightly from the computer because, most likely the money transfer are done through a web browser, but you will need a money transfer application.
It is important that all installed applications are up to date so that vulnerabilities are left out. Of course, there will be some errors that will not have a patch, but in general, it is almost impossible to compromise a completely updated device. Of course, there are zero-day attacks, but only a fool would trigger such an attack to steal banking information from any customer.
If you are using a site that requires you to register – we certainly hope you are – then make sure you use a strong, complex password that includes letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols. This is a serious case. Assuming you have a strong password, the next step is to implement two-factor authentication on the payment service you are using. This way, you will have to confirm any access to your account by means of a security code that is usually sent by SMS to your phone.
Never perform amoney transfer from a machine that you do not control. Work computers can be used, as long as you are the only one who uses them. Do not transfer money from community work or public use machines.
Beyond this, beware of ads and malicious banners that seek to steal your money and information from your Internet sessions. More than anything, it is for this reason that it is very important to choose a reliable payment service.
Secure the web
Now that your personal computer is secure, you need to check (as much as possible, at least) that the websites you are surfing on are equally secure. The first step is to avoid suspicious bank transfer services. Once you’ve decided which site to use, make sure it provides solid encryption. Look at the address bar and check that the “HTTPS” indicator is on. This will allow you to make sure that you are not transmitting any information outside of an encrypted channel.
Finally, it is recommended that you use software to secure your transactions, such as Verified-by-Visa or 3D secure, that will prompt you to enter another one-time password before carrying out each transaction.