One important key to protecting yourself online is to make sure no one steals your username and password. Stolen passwords are at the root of the problem with online banking security, and Internet security overall. Anyone who has your password can access your accounts the same way that you do. That is why a second authentication factor, something you have, is such a strong security measure. (See, Does your bank use two-factor authentication?) A would-be criminal has to steal something physical from you, as well as your password, to commit an online fraud. Until you can get two-factor authentication, here are the top eight rules:
1. Always make sure you are at the site you want. (See, If the Internet is secure, why are there Internet security problems?)
2. Don’t click on a link in an email. (See, How does phishing work?)
3. Try to use a browser security bar.
4. Protect yourself against phishing. (See, What is the best way to prevent phishing?)
5. Protect yourself against keyboard logging. (See, What is a keystroke monitor?)
6. Don’t store passwords on your PC if anyone else can get to it.
7. Don’t put your passwords in a file on your PC.
8. Don’t write down your passwords if you can avoid it, or hide them really, really well.