24 March 2013

Security Tips For Secure and Sensitive Online Transactions


Today, almost every activity is connected to the internet one way or the other. Sensitive transactions, like banking and shopping online, where we are required to logon to access our funds, are carried out daily. How protected are our online data? What is the likelihood of inadvertently exposing part or all of it to evil minds online? What little can we do to better safeguard ourselves?

(Image credit: Hackaholic)
The common sense answers to the important questions above are ordinary and basic, yet when we neglect them or act on them carelessly, they can bring us a lot of headache and heartache.

To guide against unauthorized access to your online accounts and data, it is important that you protect your sensitive details securely. Consequently, the unavoidable fact remains - you are your best protection while conducting financial and other sensitive transactions online. As a result, we advice that you kindly follow the simple, basic but important online security tips below when transacting on any Online Platform.

Safety Tips To Secure Your Sensitive Details

1). Use of passwords and PINs

A password should be used when accessing your account(s) online. Your password should be known to you only and should change regularly. Avoid using birthdates, numbers or words that may be easy for others to guess.

A good password combination would be 8 - 16 characters long, and consist of one or more capital letters, one or more small letters, one or more numbers and one or more special characters. A typically strong password to crack would be something like Cd8$e12X#zSg. However, always create passwords you would not forget.

2). Handling of your passwords and PINs

Always be careful of how and to whom you give your password. Keep your password private.

Upon completion of your transactions, ensure you sign out of the online banking (or other similar) platform, clear your cache and close your browser. This is especially important if you are using a computer that is shared by others e.g. a public computer. Often, it is easy to forget to sign out of an online banking session.

3). Access to your passwords and PINs

Never disclose, share or provide your password and/or PIN to anyone.

Please be informed that on no condition would your bank (or other secure channel institution) request for your password. Please do not reveal your personal verification question answers to anyone or disclose them in any email. Giving your password verification answers to another person or company, places your finances and privacy at risk.

4). Be wary when you use public access systems

If you do use a public access computer, such as an Internet café or public library, ensure to change your password after completing your session. If in doubt, call the contact centre of your bank (or institution, as the case may be) for a password reset and complete de-activation of your profile until you are convinced your account is safe from unnecessary access. No action should be seen as extreme when loss of your valuables is imminent.

We invite you to take advantage of these safety tips when performing your online secure/sensitive (e.g. banking) transactions.

For more specific information, you may want to call or email the Contact Centre or Online Security Department of your bank or institution. You may also see Wikipedia's article on internet security.

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