Online technology has enabled consumers to conduct banking business on the Internet. Users can manage their accounts from anywhere if they have an appropriate device and Internet access. However, there are some security risks when banking over wireless broadband networks.
Broadband Internet has helped spur the development of online banking, allowing users to send and receive much more data from their computer than previous technology, such as 56k modems, permitted. Users can check balances, set up payments, and transfer money between accounts both at the same bank and with different institutions. Wireless broadband technology allows you to do this on the go. However, the nature of the wireless broadband connection will dictate the level of security of these sessions.
Unlike years past when you needed a card and identifying information to access accounts at banks or ATMs, anyone with an online banking customer's user name and password can access his money. Hackers using the same wireless network as the individual who is logged into his online banking account can pick the user name and password out of the individual data packets that are flying over the network.
Most banks use encryption methods to secure customers' user names and passwords. This way, even if a hacker does pick up the data packets he cannot decipher their contents. However, if a bank's online service does not use a secure connection after the initial login, the banking customer's password and user name remains vulnerable. Looking for an "https" at the beginning of the URL in your browser's address bar will tell you if you are sending secured or unsecured data packets.
Online banking customers can take a number of precautions to protect their financial information. For one, online banking customers should only use secure networks. These include items such as the 3G connection a smartphone uses to access the Internet, or a home wireless network that is password protected. While individuals can use public Internet connections to conduct online banking, and there are security precautions in place, it is still not as safe as using a network in which random hackers are unable to intercept the data packet.
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- Business Security Information: Online Banking Risks
- MidWestOne Bank: Business Online Banking Threat
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