Online Banking Fraud Prevention Best Practices
These are common "Best Practices" that you should consider using to protect your Online Banking and to provide a "safer" online environment.
User ID and Password Guidelines
- Create a “strong” password with at least 8 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Change your password frequently.
- Never share username and password information with third-party providers.
- Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
- Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Online Banking.
- Check your last login date/time every time you log in.
- Review account balances and detail transactions regularly (preferably daily) to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.
- View transfer history available through viewing account activity information.
- Whenever possible, use Bill Pay instead of checks to limit account number dissemination exposure and to obtain better electronic record keeping.
- Take advantage of and regularly view system alerts; examples include:
- Balance alerts
- Transfer alerts
- Password change alerts
- ACH Alerts (for cash management users)
- Wire Alerts (for cash management users)
- Do not use account numbers, your social security number, or other account or personal information when creating account nicknames or other titles.
- Whenever possible, register your computer to avoid having to re-enter challenge questions and other authentication information with each login.
- Review historical reporting features of your online banking application on a regular basis to confirm payment and other transaction data.
- Never leave a computer unattended while using Online Banking.
- Never conduct banking transactions while multiple browsers are open on your computer.
Tips to Protect Online Payments & Account Data
- Take advantage of transaction limits, if this feature is available. Establish limits for monthly transactions at multiple levels: per transaction, daily, weekly, or monthly limits.
- When you have completed a transaction, ensure you log off to close the connection with the financial organization's computer.
Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware and Malware
- Do not open e-mail from unknown sources. Be suspicious of e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious e-mails could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer.
- Never respond to a suspicious e-mail or click on any hyperlink embedded in a suspicious e-mail. Call the purported source if you are unsure who sent an e-mail.
- If an e-mail claiming to be from your financial organization seems suspicious, checking with your financial organization may be appropriate.
- Install anti-virus and spyware detection software on all computer systems. Free software may not provide protection against the latest threats compared with an industry standard product.
- Update all of your computers regularly with the latest versions and patches of both anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Ensure computers are patched regularly, particularly operating system and key application with security patches.
- Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if using a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable. A firewall limits the potential for unauthorized access to your network and computers.
- Check your settings and select, at least, a medium level of security for your browsers.
- Clear the browser cache before starting an online banking session in order to eliminate copies of Web pages that have been stored on the hard drive. How the cache is cleared depends on the browser and version you are using. This function is generally found in the browser's preferences menu.
Tips for Wireless Network Management
If you use a wireless network, it is recommended that it be secured as follows:
- Change the wireless network hardware (router /access point) administrative password from the factory default to a complex password. Save the password in a secure location as it will be needed to make future changes to the device.
- Disable remote administration of the wireless network hardware (router / access point).
- If possible, disable broadcasting the network SSID.
- If your device offers WPA encryption, secure your wireless network by enabling WPA encryption of the wireless network. If your device does not support WPA encryption, enable WEP encryption.
- If only known computers will access the wireless network, consider enabling MAC filtering on the network hardware. Every computer network card is assigned a unique MAC address. MAC filtering will only allow computers with permitted MAC addresses access to the wireless network.