Cyber Security and Banking Institutions: Is your Money Safe?
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 63 million Americans use online banking. Because of this, it is essential for banks to offer a highly secured environment. After all, the Citibank breach of 2011 highlights how catastrophic it can be if a hacker is able to gain access to a bank’s vital information.
Fortunately, the 210,000 Citibank customers who were affected by the security breach did not have their birth dates, card security codes and social security numbers exposed. It is also important to note that this was one of the first hacking incidents to successfully target a bank.
What Security Steps can a Bank Take?
There are several steps that major financial institutions take to help ensure that their customers will not become the victim of data theft. For example, banks use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, also known as HTTPS, to keep each transmission safe. Due to this, if you do not see HTTPS in your URL bar when you visit your bank’s site, you should not sign in.
Additionally, it is becoming increasingly common for banks such as PNC to provide users with the ability to select a security image and phrase so that they can conclusively determine if they are on the right site before they provide their login information.
It is also necessary for each bank to use the latest Internet security software, and they typically work closely with a professional security company, such as MSA Security, that has experience securing major critical infrastructures for large corporations. Utilizing one of these companies makes it easier for bank officials to feel confident in their ability to provide a safe online banking environment.
After all, working with a company that uses the same type of cutting-edge security technology that government facilities rely on is definitely the best way to keep hackers from finding a flaw in the system that they can exploit.
Tips for Safer Customer Online Banking
If you are interested in signing up for online banking, you should review your bank’s commitment to security. For example, if they do not offer a secured website, it is not a good idea to use their online services. Keep in mind that information can be stolen from your computer if you do not take important security steps on your end.
Therefore, you should always go directly to the website by typing it into your URL bar instead of clicking on links, and you should also take advantage of the opportunity to set up a security image or phrase so that you can be certain you are on the right page. Additionally, you need to keep your virus and malware software up to date, and it is vital to secure your Wi-Fi connection.
Cyber criminals are continuously becoming more tech savvy, so the odds are high that hackers will target online banking again in the future. However, it should still be safe to continue doing most of your banking online as long as your bank takes all the proper steps such as hiring a top-notch security company.
Lisa Coleman shares some safety measures that must be taken in order to help ensure a customer’s personal and financial information stay safe. She recently researched online how a security company such as MSA Security, also found online at https://twitter.com/MSA_Security, can enable a financial institution with excellent high level security, including online.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mujitra/864333704/
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