How to secure your online financial transactions

Today, much of our lives is digital, including our banking habits. The evolution of technology helps make our lives easier and more convenient. For example, when we log on to a site such as an online store or our bank, our browser may offer to save our login credentials so that we may log in automatically on our next visit. But how secure is this convenience? Some of your accounts require more protection, like your personal and financial information. Here's how to enhance your protection.

Is your information safe?

Canadian financial institutions adopt strict measures to keep your data secure on their websites and mobile applications. However, without adequate precautions, institutions and users run the risk of being hacked, which could lead to a breach of personal information and compromise their bank accounts. One such example is the data breach of the Desjardins Group in 2019 that impacted over 9.7 million users in Canada and abroad. The Canadian banking industry has made considerable efforts to protect the financial system. In addition to your financial institution’s security measures, it is advisable to take some other precautions to further protect yourself.

How to further protect your personal information

As a user, you should do everything possible to protect your data. First, installing an anti-virus software will reduce your risk of being hacked by malware. Next, it is important to set a strong password that is not easy to guess. This password, and other personal information, should never be shared with anyone. If you are asked to share your personal information, it is most likely a phishing attempt. A legitimate institution such as a bank would never ask you for your personal information in an urgent and insistent manner. Finally, always keep track of your financial transactions. If you suspect that a transaction may be fraudulent, contact your bank about it immediately.

What to watch out for

Without even knowing it, certain actions such as sharing your passwords online with your friends and family can put you at an even greater risk of being hacked. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to online financial transactions:

  • Never use public or unsecured Wi-Fi connections to access sensitive data, such as bank accounts, or to make online purchases.
  • Never save your banking information on your browser. Anyone who gains access to your desktop could log in to your account.
  • Learn to detect signs of fraud. A cyber criminal may send you a fraudulent email pretending to be your bank to get you to share your card number or other information.
  • Beware of spoofed websites. Cyber criminals can use cloned webpages to imitate a legitimate website to steal your banking information.

Conclusion

Protecting your personal data online is critical, especially when it comes to banking. You can help protect your financial information by taking simple steps to improve overall cybersecurity. Being vigilant helps ensure the security of your online transactions!

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