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According to Positive Technologies research data, security of financial applications keeps growing. Banks make serious investments into improving security of their products. In the end hackers find it easier not to attack the banks, but rather go after bank clients and people shopping online.
Here are some useful tips from Positive Technologies experts to help you protect your money online.
Make transactions only using secure sites
A basic rule of online payments security is to never use your cards on untrusted sites. If you use a service for a long time and feel sure it is safe, you can make a transaction, but you should still stay cautious. For instance, check for encryption. Data must be transmitted via HTTPS, a secure protocol, rather than via HTTP.
Often attackers create copies of trusted sites, and sometimes such resources may be even higher in the search results than the original sites. That’s why it is important to remember the exact URL of the resource you need and type that into your browser’s address bar, rather than use a search engine. The best option is to add your bank’s site or the site where you make a payment to your browser’s bookmarks. Before you make any transaction, double-check the URL. It must not contain any extra symbols or replaced symbols (1 instead of I, for instance).
Get a separate card for online shopping
Using your primary card for online shopping is a bad idea. If that card is compromised, attackers could steal a lot. So it’s better to use a special card where you keep a small amount, ideally transferring funds right before the transaction. Another option is to set a daily limit for operations with the card in your online bank settings. Then, even if an attack is successful, the hackers won’t be able to steal all your money at once.
Some banks allow creating virtual cards for online shopping. That’s a good function to use, if available.
Beware of phishing
Financial institutions nowadays make serious investments into improving security. They perform audits, use new software and hardware to detect attacks. Often the attackers find it easier to attack bank clients than the bank itself.
One of the most efficient ways of such attacks is phishing. Hackers may send letters to bank clients, allegedly from the bank’s staff, and it is not so easy to tell at a glance if it is a fake. You need to remember the key rule: if the communication is from the bank, call the number on the back of your card to get clarification from the bank personnel and confirm their intent.
Control security of your devices
In addition to phishing, hackers can attack devices of the bank clients, too. To keep your computer and gadgets secure, make a habit of never downloading files from untrusted sites, never following suspicious links, and never downloading attachments from unknown senders.
When you launch a new app, it’s important to check and analyze the permissions it requests. If a regular game wants access to your phone book, it should get you thinking why the app developers would need this.
Using antivirus on all computers and gadgets you use for online banking and online purchases is a must. Keep the programs on those devices updated. Often hackers get into a computer through vulnerabilities in obsolete software. Regular updates reduce the probability of such attacks.
Do not make online purchases from someone else’s devices and using public Wi-Fi
Using someone else’s computer for online payments is risky. There’s no way to know what viruses may be found in a computer, for instance, in a cybercafe. Don’t log into your online bank using public Wi-Fi, either. Your data can be easily intercepted by hackers.