How Could Someone Get Access to My Online Banking Accounts?

By Kathryn Hatter

Install a firewall on your computer to help block virus threats.
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With its convenience and accessibility, online banking might appeal to you. Although online banking can fit your busy and connected lifestyle, there are risks involved with this type of banking. If you’re not careful, other people can gain access to your online banking account through a variety of different security breaches.

Computer Viruses

If your computer becomes infected by a virus, the invisible code on your computer can wreak some serious havoc. Viruses can infect a computer via emails that arrive in your inbox. If you click on a link, sometimes that’s all it takes for a virus to download onto your computer. You might also contract a virus by surfing the Internet. Once you get a virus on your computer, a keylogger could capture account information and transfer this data to a host computer for accessing your account.

Email Risks

Thieves send out scam emails to consumers, called “phishing” emails. A phishing email usually contains a message that misrepresents the sender as a bank or a service provider with an official-looking header showing a company name and logo. The email will warn the recipient of some sort of security breach or account update that the consumer needs to perform by clicking a link. If you click this link to visit the website and enter your account information, you will be giving this information to a criminal, who can then access your account.

Another way you can compromise your online bank account is simply by sending account information in an email. Regular emails are not a secure method of transmitting sensitive bank account information. because criminals can intercept emails.

Bank Website Security

Your bank’s website needs multiple layers of security to keep your online bank account safe. Merely requiring a username and password is inadequate for account security. For optimal account security, a bank website should require additional security features such as personalized pictures, symbols and security questions.

Shared Computers

A computer you share with others can be risky for conducting online banking transactions or for accessing an online bank account. Never store your log-in information for your online banking account on computer you share with family members or roommates. It’s also risky to access your online bank account from a public computer. Even if you log off your account, browser cookies and cached files can stay on the computer after you finish.

Public Networks

A public wi-fi connection can pose serious security risks. If you use a public network connection to log in to your online banking account and the network does not use encryption, it’s possible that a criminal could hack your account information to access your account. Encrypted websites can keep your account information secure, but you need to verify encryption with your bank. Always log yourself out of your account when you finish using it.