Hot or Not?
Is Online Banking Still Safe?
Too many systems are getting hacked these days and it makes me worry even more than ever. I use online banking systems every day and shop online all the time.
I guess that as long as one is careful then the chance of becoming a victim is greatly decreased, but what about when the banking institution itself lacks in security protocols?
The answer, according to top security experts, is a qualified "yes." Using the Internet to bank, buy music, or shop is still as safe or safer than visiting brick-and-mortar locations, as long as consumers take precautions and know what to do if they notice any suspicious activity. In fact, the overall trend is a reassuring one: 2010 actually saw fewer records breached than the previous year due to new infrastructure in place, says Julie Conroy McNelley, senior fraud and risk analyst at research firm Aite Group. Today, she adds, "banks have some of the most sophisticated mechanisms in place."
As long as consumers take a few basic steps (explained below) to help protect their information, security experts agree that online banking remains safe. That's a good thing, since it's almost impossible for consumers to avoid sharing personal data online if they want to participate in 21st-century life, from Facebook to online sales to paying bills. Plus, as McNelley adds, many breaches involve databases of card numbers that exist regardless of how cardholders use their accounts.
Here are 10 steps consumers to take to make sure their information is safe:
1. Don't talk to cyber-strangers, and don't click on hyperlinks within emails from strangers.
2. Treat your smartphone like the computer it is.
3. Treat social networks like dark street corners.
4. Use the Net to your own advantage.
5. Get free help.
6. Think of a new word.
7. Never, ever give your Social Security number to anyone online.
8. Shred or safely store financial mail.
9. Fight back quickly.
10. Trust your gut.
Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....8.html?x=0