New to online banking? Here are 5 ways teens can stay secure

02 February 2022
Recently discovered the world of online banking? It's so convenient, right? From making payments in just a few seconds to checking your balance whenever you receive new income, it's easy to use from the comfort of your home. But online banking is not without some serious dangers. And if you're not aware of these, you can fall victim to being robbed of your money and personal information.   

Today, banking has never been easier. Now, we have the freedom to do almost every transaction at home or while on the go.

But while online banking is easy and convenient, it comes with many risks. Fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to illegally access users' online banking information. This is why it is so important to start developing good online banking habits as early as possible.

Before we look at the top tips for staying safe online, let's look at some important words to know about the world of online banking: 

  • Hacking: Illegally gaining access to online personal information. 
  • Phishing attack: Sending fraudulent messages that trick victims into sending sensitive information to attackers. 
  • Ransomware: Software used to threaten victims to reveal personal information to attackers. 
  • Encrypt: The process of changing personal information online to avoid attackers gaining access to it.  

Tips to safely bank online  

With more people (and youngsters) choosing to bank online, security concerns are growing. Cases of financial information theft, fraud and bank account hacking are on the rise. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and secure online:  

Avoid using public computers

There are several risks to using public computers when accessing an online banking platform. Any computer can have hacking or phishing software installed that are programmed to steal your login details. Someone can also access your browser history and gain access to your password. 

Tip! Also, avoid using an open Wi-Fi connection for any online banking activities. The biggest threat of public Wi-Fi networks is that hackers can sit between the hotspot and end-user to trace all information entered online without difficulty.

Install an antivirus program 

Online hackers often use phishing attacks or ransomware to steal online banking information. An effective way to protect yourself from hackers is to have a powerful antivirus program installed. Ask your parents or a teacher to help you install an antivirus program on your computer and mobile device. Once installed, it's also important to regularly check for antivirus updates. An outdated program will not offer good protection. 

Don't click on links 

Never click on a link in an email or mobile message, even if it looks like it’s from your bank. Hackers use untrustworthy links to 'phish' for personal information. Always retype the website address of your bank's online banking platform into your computer before using it or bookmark your bank’s actual website.

Use strong passwords 

A strong password consists of a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Nowadays, many banks require your online accounts to have passwords meeting these conditions. It's also important to change your passwords every other month, and to use different passwords for all of your online accounts so that hackers will have a more difficult time gaining access to your information.

Never save logins

Some websites may offer you the option to save your username and password for faster future logins. However, it's always safer to leave that box unchecked. This way, you avoid other users from gaining easy access to your login details. 

Tip! It's also important to be careful never to write your logins down anywhere. 

Bank conveniently, safely 

Gone are the days of visiting a bank branch to handle banking tasks. The internet has made it very easy to bank through just a few clicks. But with more hackers, scams and risks than ever before, keeping your online bank account safe and secure is a must. Having your personal and financial information stolen or your bank account hacked can create countless problems for you.

So, always remember to keep up with basic security measures. By being bold about managing security threats, you can help lower the chance of your online banking account ending up in the wrong hands.