Online banking, mobile wallet, and online shopping all make our lives more convenient, but as with anything you do online, you need to use them safely. Following a few best practices can help keep your bank account and personal information safe. Use strong passwords, protect your devices, and be careful about other apps that you download or emails that you might receive.
We’ve all seen TV shows or movies where someone breaks into a person’s account because the password was his wife’s birthday or some other easily guessed combination. A strong password is one that is not easy to guess.
Best practices are to have a different password for each application and to change your passwords frequently. That seems like a tall order, but remember, if you have one password and a hacker discovers it, all of your apps/accounts will be wide open!
If you protect your computer with virus protection software, oftentimes you can get a bundle of licenses and install it on your smart phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Make sure the software is up-to-date and is actively scanning and monitoring your devices. Also, keep the operating system on all your devices on the latest version.
Always use a reputable app store to download apps like Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, or Samsung Pay®, to quickly and conveniently make in-store, online or in-app purchases. These apps, known as mobile or digital wallets are alternatives to using your physical debit card. They allow you to store your card information in digital form on your device to make purchases without sharing your card information with the vendor.
It’s tempting to conduct some of your banking or shopping on your phone or tablet when you are away from home like at a coffee shop, store or airport. Do not use their public WiFi. The connection is likely not secure, leaving your activities open to hackers. Also, avoid using the charging portals at airports or other public places. You may be getting more than power! It is easy for cyber criminals to use these “conveniences” to transmit malware or steal your personal data.
West Bank offers a secure email channel to use if you and your banker find it necessary to send sensitive documents through email. Never include your account numbers or other private information through regular email. Your banker will create a secure email account for you by sending you an email through our Secure Email Server.
Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Pay is a trademark of Google LLC. Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
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