Bank accounts are different from Credit Cards in that once you money is stolen you don’t get it back unless the Bank returns it to your account, so here are 10 tips to protect your bank account.
Have two bank accounts. Keep enough money in the second bank account to give you at least enough to get you through to your next paycheck.
Use a bank that allows up to 8 numbers for your pin.
Keep only enough money in your checking account as you need.
Disable automatic transferring of money from your savings account to your checking account.
Set up and use your Banks automated notifications. Set the notification thresh hold to the amount of money you would be concerned about losing, but not low enough that the alerts are worthless.
Pay for an online service that locks your Credit and requires you to open it before you can be approved for Credit. This is a monthly cost and while it may cost around $200 year, it is much less of a cost to your time and credit score if your identity is stolen.
Don’t use your ATM card as a debit card. Instead use a Credit Card or better yet, use a Prepaid Credit Card especially for online transactions.
If you must use your ATM card as a debit card make sure to cover the keypad completely when typing your pin. Although it may feel awkward and you may type the pin incorrectly at first, most people find it becomes easy with a few tries.
Don’t sign your debit card, but instead write “PLEASE SEE ID” in bold caps. While this does not insure the cashier will check, if one does the thief would not be expected to produce a valid ID (or fake) with your name on the ID. At least not easily.
Check your account balances daily and be familiar with what you spend. Thief’s will usually try to pull out as much money as once they can in one day. Catching this on the first day can save you from it happening over and over. Some of the smarter ones will try to make a small purchase or multiple small purchases to test if the card is active before making more largely purchases so it is important to review your transactions daily as well as your balance.
There are plenty of sites out there to provide you details of WHY Malware is such a concern today so I am not going to repeat the message here. I am assuming you already know what Malware is and are looking for a simple list of things you should do to protect yourself. If I am assuming correctly then I expect you will like this list.
How to Protect Yourself from Malware
Keep your system up to date. Apply related security patches as soon as they are available. This is for both your Operating System (including things like Linux, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Surface, Android, etc) and the applications that are on the system.
Install a strong antivirus software solution and most importantly, KEEP IT UP TO DATE. It is good to periodically run a full system scan.
Remove applications you are no longer using and will not be using.
Do not install applications from locations you do not trust. This includes locations such as peer to peer sharing, pirated software, FREE songs that should not be free, companies you do not know or trust, emails from unknown senders, unexpected emails from senders with suspicious content, etc.
Do not use USB or USB type devices from untrusted/unknown sources.
Do not open files sent through Instant Messengers from untrusted/unknown sources.
Use a proxy with Malware protection. Ensure it is regularly updated and includes the ability to examine all content (including SSL traffic) and provides regular block list updates for known “bad” sites.
Use additional browser plugins such as WOT (Web of Trust) or Bit Defender as a way to know site ratings from web searches prior to clicking links. WOT is a great source for user feedback, you can even provide your own feedback for any site!
Use your browsers built in phishing and Malware protection services. If your browser does not offer this I suggest using a different browser.
Do not run your browser as an “Administrator” or using elevated credentials.
Do not use SSL (HTTPS) sites with untrusted certificates.