A lot of people use online banking to save time, or for convenience. It is one less thing to do on the list. There are security precautions to take, however, if this is your permanent banking method. Try the following four (4) tips below to check the authenticity of the bank’s site.
1. Minimize the page with a virtual keyboard if your bank provides one. If the virtual keyboard minimizes with the page, this is correct and the website is authentic. If the virtual keyboard does not minimize with the page, then the site has been pirated. This means that it is a bogus website. Do not attempt to click or enter any information on the site. It is recommended that you report it to your banking representative.
2. Enter an incorrect password the first time. In other words, do not enter your correct password at login. This is done to determine the authenticity of the website. If you see an error message after entering the incorrect password, then you can be sure the website is not a bogus one because most bank systems try to verify the password entered. At this point, it is safe to enter your correct password. If you do not see an error message after entering the incorrect password, then this is a bad sign. Pirated websites have no way of checking the information you enter, and their aim is only to capture the password.
3. Make sure the bottom of the page has a padlock icon if your bank provides one. Try to click twice on the icon. A small message window with information about the authenticity of the site should appear. In some pirate sites an image of a padlock icon may appear, but it is just an image and clicking twice on it does nothing.
4. The last tip is to check the bank’s site address in your internet browser. The bank site should begin with “https” versus the normal “http”. The “s” indicates that you are accessing a secure site. See my computer tip on HTTP.
These four small tips are simple steps to take, and can help to ensure that you do not fall victim to online banking fraud.
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David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems with cum laude designation. His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, and online marketing.