We spoke with our Information Security Officer, Ronald Arias, to get his best advice on staying safe online.
Here is what he had to say:
It is important to educate and protect yourself when using Internet-connected systems and applications. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a cyberheist is not to let your cybersecurity guard down. The surest way to do that is to enhance your security footprint for all online services. In a field where malicious tactics change on a daily basis, taking every available precaution helps!
The following are a number of measures you can take to help limit your online banking risk.
1. Ensure that PCs used for online banking activities are up-to-date with Antivirus, Malware Protection and Operating System Patches.
2. Never share passwords or passphrases. You go to lengths to secure your passwords, why would you share them? Most online banking applications allow you to create separate users with limited access features. Take advantage of this option and take control of your account access.
3. Do not bank on unknown/unsecured networks. Just because your favorite coffee shop has free Wi-Fi does not mean it’s secure. Most shops that offer free Wi-Fi as a courtesy often do not take the necessary steps to secure these networks. Hackers prey on insecure/misconfigured networks to monitor online banking activity.
4. Ensure you log out and close all sessions when you have completed your online banking activities. Most web browsers clear out private information once the window is closed, limiting the information stored on your PC.
5. Create notifications within your online banking account. If a hacker manages to access your account, these notifications will ensure you receive immediate notification, allowing you to take swift action.
6. Password protect your mobile devices. Unlike your PC or laptop, your smartphone’s mobility makes it easier to lose. Create a password, PIN, swipe function, or make use of the phone’s biometric abilities to ensure that a lost phone does not become a security risk.
7. Alter the response to your security/challenge questions. You don’t need to stick to the script. Everyone knows what your first car was, but how many know what your favorite car is? Substitute your mother’s maiden name with the nickname she used when referring to you. These subtle changes make it improbable that a hacker will bypass online banking security challenges.
Unfortunately, the world of online communication is not a particularly safe place. There are many people out there who want to take what is yours and who are willing to go to extremes to steal what you’ve worked so hard to save.
But you don’t need to fall for their traps. You can fight back and protect what is rightfully yours. By implementing security measures readily available to you, you can ensure that your online accounts are secure. Hackers prey on weakness, so enhancing your security will detract and deter their attempts, leaving them no choice but to move on.