Online banking is great thing. You can make payments, transfer money, put money into different accounts, pay off credit cards, invest savings and all without slogging down to the high street and standing in queues.

It’s hardly surprising then that an estimated 67% of UK adults banked online during 2017 according to web portal Statista, a figure that has grown consistently each year since 2007 when 30% of UK adults used online banking.

However, hackers are a devious bunch and they will try all sorts of sneaky tricks to try and hijack online banking. Below are five useful tips that will help keep you safe.
 
  • Create strong passwords
If you’re online banking account requires a password make sure it is strong. Use a unique password that is long, random and made up of different cases, numbers, letters and symbols.
 
  • Use two-factor authentication
Some banks offer two-factor authentication, others insist on it. If your bank does offer does two-factor authentication (or multi-factor authentication) then use it. Hacking an account with two-factor authentication is much more difficult since it would require the hacker to hack both the account and a smartphone or a hand held device supplied by the bank.
 

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  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi connections
Carrying out financial transactions over public Wi-Fi is risky since public internet connections are generally unprotected and easily accessed by hackers.
 
Ideally, bank transactions should be done over a virtual private network (VPN) which adds an extra layer of security to private and public networks so that sensitive data is protected.
 
If you don’t use a VPN, opt for encrypted pages by looking for the "https" in the URL address in a browser. If you’re using a mobile device turn off your Wi-Fi and use your data plan, that is, a 3G or 4G connection.
 
  • Beware suspicious emails
Some fraudsters send emails pretending to be a bank or another official website. If you receive a suspicious email asking for sensitive information, delete it. Banks don’t ask for this type of information via email. If in doubt contact your bank before you respond to any email.
 
  • Check your accounts regularly
It is important to be diligent in checking your accounts. Whether it's a credit card account or a savings account, checking regularly will make it easy to see any suspicious transactions.

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