For many years now I have been setting up and helping many of my clients to use online banking. It’s not necessarily because they want to use it but because they have come to a point in life where they are unable to go down to the shops or the post office to pay their bills anymore, either because they are incapacitation or have health issues. Many have been trepidatious about the change, mainly because they are afraid that someone will hack their computer and steal their every penny. The reality is that online banking has become one of the most secure ways of paying bills and preforming transactions then most other ways of banking.
These days you have a greater likelihood for being mugged, or having your credit card skimmed while your out shopping then falling victim to online banking theft. Remember when we went from paying by cheque to paying by Bankcard, then using an ATM rather then going into the bank then the EFTPOS machine replaced the bank card carbon processing slips’. Well this is the next step in providing a highly secure, convenient way of paying bills from your home anytime you like.
Most banks use 128-bit encryption through a direct line to your computer using a https: secure online service. This means that your details are encrypted 2^128 times, which comes to approximately 399,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible combinations for a credit card. If you were to take your computer and get it to crack your card it would take around 6 thousand trillion years to crack. If you’re unsure, check with your bank about what security they have, I have also listed a few more tips below that will keep you safe online.
- Make sure that you are online with the bank using their correct internet address and that is has the https:// symbol before their internet address when you are in the secure area of their site.
- Make sure your antivirus is always up to date.
- Use a strong Password and don’t keep your password on your computer.
- Try using BPay to pay your bills as it offers another layer of security to the transaction.
- See is your bank offers Two-factor Authentication which provides yet another layer of security as well.
- Regularly check your account, if you see any unusual transaction give them a call for them to investigate.
- If you would like to purchase something online, use a debit/ credit card with a small amount of money on it and not your main account with all your savings.
- Lastly, don’t believe any email from your bank asking you to verify your details banks will never contact you via email or phone.
It is a brave new online world that is unveiling itself, and there are safeguards there to protect you. Australian Government guarantees deposits up to $250,000 if anything happens. If you are armed with the right information, you can be sure to transact online in secure comfort from home which will will free up your time to do other more exciting things then going to the post office every few weeks to pay your bills.