5 Effective Tips for Safer Online Banking and Transaction

Last updated: August 12, 2023 Reading time: 5 minutes
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Internet banking has evolved over the years to become a formidable technology today. Many transactions today can be taken care of without going to the bank. Earlier, we had to go to the bank to fill out various forms for depositing, withdrawing, and transferring funds.

This kept fraud to a minimum since actually defrauding the bank was a bit harder this way. Now that we can do our banking from anywhere, a new crop of criminals has emerged who want to steal from you from the other side of the world by just typing in a few keystrokes on their computers.

By logging into your bank’s website, you can make transfers, check balances, view statements, and even deposit checks via your Smartphone. In as much as all this makes our work easier and allows us to focus on more critical tasks, some criminals track our activities online and take advantage of any slip-up we make to rob us blind.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research research, hackers have stolen over $112 billion over the last six years. Such numbers can make you seriously question the safety of your money. With this in mind, here are some practical tips to ensure you don’t become such a victim.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are a user’s first defense when keeping online banking transactions safe. You probably wouldn’t mind if someone guessed your Reddit password because, as much as there could be some fallout, damage control won’t be as hard.

If someone thought the password to your online banking, they could bleed you dry in seconds. Imagine all your life’s savings gone in an instant. To make sure this doesn’t happen, memorize a secure password.

Strong passwords normally consist of twelve characters with letters, both upper and lowercase, symbols, and numbers when a password is designed like this, even the most sophisticated computers can take years to crack it.

Only Use a Secure Website

Hackers use phishing to get the information they need to hack a user’s login details. Phishing uses fake web pages identical to the original website they want the information to. Phishing uses phony web pages similar to the original website where hackers wish to send the data.

The most noticeable difference between these sites and the legitimate ones is that the legitimate ones have a different address bar which usually has a green padlock. An EV SSL (Extended Validation Certificate Secure Sockets Layer) provides the users highest levels of trust when operating on the site. Many banks today use EV (Extended Validation) SSL Certificates on their websites so that the user knows the website they are accessing is secured. Reputed Certificate Authority validates the business identity that operates this website.

A website with EV SSL is more trustworthy due to the prominent green address bar that shows the company name. Users should note that many, not all, financial services providers have secured their websites with EV SSL. Therefore, when directed to a similar-looking website without the green address bar, know you are targeted for a phishing attack.

Symantec is one of the world’s biggest and most trusted EV SSL distributors. There are many benefits of using Symantec EV SSL certificates. These include company name display in the browser green address bar, data protection from hackers, and Symantec secured site seal.

Using a VPN

Virtual private networks are the best defense against malicious persons when accessing your bank account on a network you do not control. Such networks include cafes, airports, hotels, etc. You might think that since the place has good Wi-Fi, it is safe to log into your account there – most of the time, it is not.

In many public places, traffic monitors and people sniff your network traffic. As such, a VPN comes in very handy in these cases. Since most VPNs worth their salt are premium and not free, they spare no expense in ensuring your anonymity is guaranteed.

VPN changes your IP address and encrypts your traffic so that it cannot be intercepted in transit. Apart from that, it also makes sure that nobody can see what you have been doing online.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-step verification has been with us for a while now. Many people don’t like using it because they view it as time-consuming. This verification might be proper to some extent, but I believe you would rather be safe than sorry about your money.

Enabling two-factor authentication might mean you log in a bit slower, but it is ultimately worth it. Banks require you to register your phone number or preferred email address where the one-time pin (OTP) will be sent. Therefore, the website sends you the OPT via text or email whenever you log in. Upon entering the correct code, you are granted access to the account.

By enabling two-step verification, you ensure that even if someone gets to know your password, they cannot access your account. Furthermore, when you receive an OTP, and you’re not logging into the account yourself, it’s a notification that someone is trying to access your bank account, whereby you can call the bank.

Only Use the Bank’s Official App

Today, every bank offering Internet banking solutions has an app designed to make banking on the go much easier and less detailed for the user. However, many people will attempt to acquire your online banking logins to steal from you.

These apps look almost identical and ask you for your username and password. When you provide this information, you will note that you’ll be given a negative response and asked to log in again. This is an attempt for the hackers to verify previously provided data.

Before downloading a mobile banking app, ensure the app’s author is the bank itself. Doing this ensures you’re dealing with a legitimate bank, not a con.


Using the methods outlined above, you can be sure that your online banking transactions remain safe from prying eyes. As much as these methods are helpful, you don’t need to stop there. There are a few more ways to use that extra layer of security, such as having an up-to-date antivirus and making sure that you regularly install operating system updates on your computer since most of these updates patch up existing vulnerabilities.

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About the Author

Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.

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