Much of our lives have moved online, which makes it more important than ever to be cautious and look out for scams. When it comes to online shopping, banking, bill pay, charitable donations, and other online activities involving money, scammers will always be out there trying to trick you out of your hard-earned cash. Here’s what you can do to keep your money safe online.
Think about where you connect to online banking
It’s best to avoid signing into your online or mobile banking account when you’re in a public place and connected to an open Wi-Fi network. Hackers can compromise open Wi-Fi networks without you–or the owner of the network–even realizing. Your login credentials and other sensitive information could be stolen without your knowledge. Or Malware could be installed on your device–again with your knowledge.
If you travel or frequently need to use public Wi-Fi networks, consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for your laptop. A VPN provides an encrypted “tunnel” for your Internet connection so that hackers can’t view your online activity. Thus, your privacy and sensitive personal data will be protected while you’re logged into online banking, email, and other websites.
Never share your personal data via email, text, or phone
Reputable organizations and companies will never contact you to request sensitive personal information such as login credentials, one-time passcodes, account numbers, etc. Be wary of messages that try to threaten, scare you, or create a sense of urgency. If you are not sure whether or not the message is legitimate, do not respond. Instead, call the official customer service number listed on the company or bank’s website to see if there is really an issue with your account.
Sign up for account alerts
In spite of all the steps you can take to keep your money safe online, you may still find yourself a victim of fraud or identity theft. Set up account alerts to be notified of transactions and changes in your balance. If there is any unusual or unauthorized activity, contact us immediately.
Only use secure websites and legitimate organizations
Before logging into a website or making a purchase, be sure that the URL starts with “https.” The ‘s’ stands for secure, which means your data and communications will be encrypted. Another sign of a secure website is a padlock symbol just before the URL. If a website isn’t secure, it’s better not to make any purchases or share any information.
Scammers also try to trick people by impersonating a legitimate company, bank, or government agency. If the price on a desirable product seems too good to be true, it probably is. Look closely at the URL to check for misspellings or other errors. There should also be a Contact Us page with a physical address, phone number, and email address.
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AMNB offers convenient and secure digital banking solutions that make it easier than ever to manage your money. Learn more about our online and mobile banking platforms and download the mobile app today