NOTE: The following is a guest post by Courtney Gordner. The blog maintainer is not responsible for its contents.
Allowing a bank to store all of your financial information is supposed to keep it safe, but that is not always the case. Although banks generally have the best anti-hacking software available and take extra precautions to keep this information secure, things do happens that can allow these documents to fall into the wrong hands. In many cases, it is not the bank's fault, as there are things that you should be doing to protect your bank account.
Choosing a Password
Perhaps the easiest way for hackers to get into your bank account is by guessing the password. Do not use common things like your phone number, address or a generic number like "1234". If you have an online backing account, set up the security question and answer part of the account for added protection. That way, even if a hacker is able to guess your password, he or she will not have access to your account.
Connecting to the Account
Smartphones and tablets have made it simple to check your account from anywhere. Many people now handle their banking on their morning commute, which saves time and money. The problem, however, is that using public Wi-Fi connections is very risky when checking banking information.
Hackers are able to access these connections and can potentially steal your banking information. When you are in a public place, do not use the Wi-Fi connection to access any important account because you run the risk of having your information stolen.
Even if you use a laptop in a public place, it is a good idea to avoid using the public Wi-Fi. Instead, tether your mobile phone to the laptop and use its data connection. While this will cause you to use some of your monthly allotted data, it can end up saving you a great deal by protecting your bank account information.
Set Up a New Email Account
Phishing schemes often allow hackers to acquire your personal information through your email account. The more activity you have with your email account, the easier it is for hackers to gain access to this information. As a result, you should set up an email account just for your online banking account. This ensures that you do not have any phishing emails sent to the address, making it next to impossible for hackers to access this information.
Once you have opened this email account, do not open any emails other than those from the bank. Do not give this address to anyone to ensure that it is left just for your banking information.
Protect Your Bank Documents
If you receive your bank account information in the mail, make sure that you shred it. Some forget this step and simply throw their banking documents in the garbage or recycling. A resourceful hacker might simply look in your recycling bin for this information. This gives the hacker your bank account number, which is the first step toward hacking your account as a whole.
Just because you have never heard of this happening to a friend or family member does not mean that it is impossible. People have their bank accounts hacked daily and most do not realize that this could happen until it is too late.Keep track of when your bank statements usually arrive and call the bank if it is not on time. Always check your account statements to see if all of the charges are accounted for and report anything that is suspicious. If you are interested in using your bank account online for investments, be careful of the sites you are giving your information to. Sites that had high ranks and high quality pages are more likely to be trust worthy then those that look like they were thrown together over night. For a good example of a high quality site, click here. Some people do not bother checking their accounts and do not realize that they have been hacked until it is too late.
Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist who loves writing on any topic! Read more from her at her blog, www.talkviral.com