Nowadays, it is more and more common for people to use online services when dealing with their financial matters. While it is quite convenient to do all your banking transactions without having to leave the comfort of being at home and paying a visit to the bank, it is also important to take the time to think about the potential security threats that this brings to the table. Adopting some simple, but valuable practices can turn out to be quite beneficial for your overall security and can greatly increase your protection against possible cyber attacks.
Use Only Personal Devices
It is always a good decision to keep all actions regarding serious financial matters restricted to a personal device. The reason for this is because one can never be sure what kind of software is installed on a public computer. For example, it is possible that the device is infected with malware that detects typed passwords and transmits them to a third party. If the usage of an unfamiliar computer is unavoidable, don’t forget to always log out from the sites that require some kind of logging in after you are finished with using the device. Don’t forget about the traces you leave behind while browsing and ensure that all temporary Internet files or browsing history is deleted after you’ve finished using the browser.Simply closing the respective browser tab or windows is not always enough for the logout operation to be successfully performed.
A good practice is to avoid visiting suspicious looking websites or installing apps that are of unknown origin. One indication of whether or not the site is secure is the presence of “https” in the address of the page to be visited. Refrain from downloading any content from websites that are not secure and of non-reputable origin. In many cases, such files are filled with malware that can bring a lot of trouble to your cyber security. Scanning each downloaded file with antivirus software can prevent infections of the system and further distribution of the malware.
Clicking on any advertisements while browsing can fill your system with unwanted adware, which can considerably slow down your machine or leave some holes in the security and thus, making the device more susceptible to other possible attacks. If you use your mobile device to access your bank account for example, ensure that the smartphone or tablet in question is secured with a strong password or screen lock of some kind.
Build Your Own Security Mechanism
For many people, the trivial solution of only installing antivirus software is more than satisfying when it comes to security matters, but it is not the only thing that can be done in this regard. Keeping your software up-to-date is quite important because new ways of gaining unauthorized access to a system are being developed every day and the software that is used for protection has to be able to recognize them. However, this is not the only way to improve your protection against potential evil wishers. Setting up a personal firewall can prove to be very beneficial for the security of the computer. A firewall can be used to monitor the packets that your computer sends/receives, reduces the risk of being infected with a Trojan horse lurking on your system or a keylogger monitoring your actions.
Spending some time to get acquainted with some Internet security protocols like IPsec or MACsec would not be wasted in any case. Such protocols offer services of encrypting network traffic and overall verification of the received packets, thus making the system safer. The combination of using antivirus software and a properly set up firewall can turn into a very powerful security mechanism and is a must for every system that is used to store sensitive information.