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10 ways to secure your personal banking information

Online banking has revolutionised the way we transact, but that doesn’t mean we can be lax on security. Cases of hacking and cybercrime are rampant, and it’s never been more important to keep your sensitive information secure. Here are 10 tips to ensure the only person accessing your finances is you.

1) Be mindful of suspicious links

Chances are you’ve received a sketchy looking email or text before. Often it will be from an unknown email address or number, requesting that you click a link and undertake an action. This prompt may be, for example, resetting the password to your online banking or “confirming your identity” by disclosing some information about yourself. This email might even claim to be from your bank.

If it seems a little bit off, it likely is. To be safe, you can always follow the email or text up by calling your bank on their official phone line.

2) Only engage with mobile banking on secure networks

Public WiFi is great in concept, but it’s not necessarily secure. These networks are often set up to handle a huge volume of connections, but might not have the highest level of security. Hackers can also disguise themselves as public networks and access your web-surfing data very easily. It’s better to leave your balance checking to secure networks you can trust.

3) Use the official bank apps

Don’t try to access your bank account through any third-party app. Instead stick to the official mobile banking offerings from your provider. We have¬†developed our app [1] to maximise security, and it’s been rigorously tested to make sure it’s accessible only to our customers.

4) Don’t lose your mobile device (if you can help it)

None of us are perfect, and occasionally misplacing a belonging is something that happens to all of us. This is, however, a huge security risk, since having your phone makes it a lot easier for a hacker to access your information. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to avoid having any password information stored anywhere on your phone.

5) Use a strong password

The key to a good password is something that’s easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. You’ll want to avoid creating a password that’s easily guessable, such as your birthday, or the name of a partner or spouse since these are things a stranger can easily find out about you.

It’s good to use a mix of upper and lower case, along with numbers and non-alphanumeric characters. A combination like this is much harder to crack.

6) Keep your operating system and banking apps up to date

It’s easy to ignore notifications on your phone that you need to update apps or your operating system. Updates don’t come along for no reason – they are essential to keeping your device and your apps running to optimal efficiency, and that includes your phone and banking app’s security protocols [2].

7) Log out after every session

When you’re done with your online banking session, log out rather than simply closing the app or web browser. While most online banking services will log you out after a set time, it never hurts to be careful.

8) Don’t overshare to your online followers

The more you share online, the more information strangers can access about you. It’s also worthwhile changing your privacy settings to make sure only approved parties can see your social accounts.

9) Use banking notifications

Make use of customised notifications on your banking app. You can set these to alert you if certain transactions are made, for example a set dollar amount where you will be notified via text or email anytime a transaction exceeding that limit takes place. This is a good way to identify suspicious activity in real time.

10) Use passcodes on your devices

Make use of your phone or tablets security features. Set a pin or activate biometric fingerprint scanning if your device has the capabilities. It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t utilise these functions. It adds an additional layer of security to your device that may make the difference if your phone is stolen or found by an opportunist.

If you’re not already making use of these strategies, now is the time to step up your security game. For more information, read about our security here [2].

The above information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or need. Products and services are provided by Beyond Bank Australia, a trading name of Community CPS ABN 15 087 651 143  /Australian Credit Licence 237 856.