How to Bank More Securely Online

April 8, 2016 | Doug LaFave

Illustration of a padlock made up of computer circuitry.

Online banking has become an integral part of life for many of us. It can save time and money, and increase security. Mission Fed Online Banking allows you to view your account information, pay bills, transfer money between accounts, get access to important documents, set savings goals and budgets, manage your Mission Fed Home Loan, Auto Loan and more. With the Mobile Banking App you can deposit checks remotely with Mobile Deposit and locate over 30,000 fee-free ATMs.

It’s simple to sign up for Mission Fed Online Banking. We offer easy-to-follow instructions including guides, safety instructions, FAQs and video tutorials to help you take advantage of all of the great Online Banking features you can access from your computer or phone.

Banking online is more secure than traditional banking and paying bills because instead of sending checks through the mail where they can be lost or stolen, you can do it safely online as long as you take the proper steps to protect your information.

Here are a few things you can do to bank more securely online:

  • Create a unique personal username
    Create a username that is not obviously identifiable as you. So, instead of using your name and personal information that is easily attainable to strangers, like MaryWilliams1973, try something like MWDogLuvr73. Creating a username like this is harder for hackers to guess, but will still be something you can easily remember because it is personal to you. If you’re worried about forgetting your username, you can save it in a password protected document, but be careful. Your banking username should never be stored or written down where others might be able to access it.
  • Use an unpredictable password
    The most commonly used passwords are remarkably easy to hack, such as “123456” or “password.” Instead of using a common password or one with personal significance to you, keep your online banking password unpredictable. You can randomly generate a password with an online password generator or create a password by creating a nomenclature you will remember, such as FHn480@#a (don’t actually use that one though) and copy and paste or type it into the login form. Using an unpredictable password is safer because a hacker will be less likely to guess it.

    If you come up with a randomly generated password and can’t remember it on your own, you can save it in a password protected document on your computer or phone. Or, you can use a password manager that will automatically enter passwords for you at each website where you set up an account. With a password manager, you can maintain the safety of having many separate and unpredictable passwords with the convenience of a single, easy-to-remember one. However, a password manager should only be used on devices that are only used by you.

  • Use a separate password for online banking
    It is a good idea to have a different password for online banking than the other passwords you use on websites, even other banking sites, so that if any of the other websites are compromised, hackers will not be able to access your Mission Fed accounts. A common mistake online consumers make is having the same password for several accounts.
  • Change Your Password Regularly
    Changing your password from time to time is important. Come up with a schedule to change your passwords and set a calendar reminder to do so. If you are using a password manager, it will be very easy to go through all of your passwords and change them. If you are not using a password manager, then you should keep a list of your online accounts handy so you can reference them without having to remember each account. If you keep a list, it’s important to only include the account name, URL and business. Do not include your login information as that would be a liability to your online security. You should never write down your usernames and passwords on a sheet of paper or in an unprotected document.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for online banking
    Many public places, like coffee shops and airports, offer public, free Wi-Fi access. However, many of these networks are unsecured, which allows hackers to easily access devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Try not to log in to your online banking from public Wi-Fi whenever possible. Instead, you can use your Mission Fed Mobile Banking App on your phone for much of your online banking needs and use the phone’s private data plan. If you need to log in on your computer, many smartphones will allow you to use your phone as a wireless hotspot, so that you can use your phone’s data to create a secure network. Opt for your phone’s hotspot to access your Mission Fed Online Banking, and your information will be safer while you take care of your financial to-do list.
  • Log out when you are finished
    It is important to always log out when you are finished banking online, especially if you are using a shared computer. While most systems have an auto-logout function, it’s best not to rely on it.

Taking steps like choosing a unique username, an unpredictable password that you change regularly and using secure networks will help you protect your information while banking online. With the proper measures in place, online banking can be safer, quicker and easier. Take advantage of Mission Fed’s great Online Banking and Mobile Banking tools to manage your Mission Fed Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Credit Cards, Auto Loans, Home Loans and so much more!

When you’re on-the-go, online banking is a great alternative. Plus, you can receive help by sending a secure message while in Online Banking or by calling the Mission Fed Contact Center. Either way, we’re happy to help with your financial needs!

SOURCES

http://gizmodo.com/the-25-most-popular-passwords-of-2014-were-all-doomed-1680596951

http://www.roboform.com

http://usa.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/internet-safety/public-wifi-risks#.VtxgD5MrKt8

http://passwordsgenerator.net

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.

Doug LaFave

Doug LaFave

Doug LaFave is 1st VP of IT Strategy at Mission Federal Credit Union where he oversees many strategic technology initiatives. Doug has nearly 30 years’ experience in the credit union industry, with over 25 years in Information Technology. Doug believes technology greatly improves our lives—so long as we don’t actually let it run them.

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