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Being able to manage your financial affairs online offer many benefits and great convenience. More and more people are now using the internet to conduct their financial affairs. Which has resulted in a rise in cyber criminals capitalising on the opportunity to steal important data, information and even money. To help keep your money safe online here are some top tips to follow. 

Check the URL

When you are visiting a web page that requires you to input confidential information. Ensure you check the address of the page shown in the browser corresponds with the page you are intending to access. If for any reason the URL looks suspicious. It might contain a large random selection of letters and numbers, for example, then do not input any information. 

It is good practice to avoid using payment links and where possible type in the URL of the bank or payment website yourself. Malicious links are a common source of cybercrime for those looking to obtain data or money by illegal means. You should be particularly mindful of clicking on links in any of the following; 

  • Emails
  • Direct messages on social media platforms. 
  • Forms
  • From unknown senders. 
Use encryption

Make sure that your connection is encrypted if you are inputting confidential data. A good way to ensure that a connection is secure is by checking the URL. If the URL starts with ‘HTTPS’’ and is coupled with an icon of a lock. You can be confident that this is a secure connection. By clicking on the lock you will be able to the SSL certificate issued for that site. 

Another robust way to keep your money safe online is to use a virtual private network, VPN. The best use of VPNs can be when conducting financial affairs or sensitive information. As they are designed to provide a means to connect to the internet that is secure and private. A VPN will encrypt all of your internet traffic meaning that it will become impossible to track. 

Don’t use public or shared computers or internet connections

When it comes to conducting financial matters or inputting confidential information. Avoid using public computers such as those found in hotels, internet cafes and libraries. They could have spyware programs running which could record what you type. Leaving your passwords and private information exposed and vulnerable. 

It is also recommended that you avoid using public wi-fi connections for online transactions. Even if you are using your own computer. A public wi-fi connection runs a greater risk of traffic being intercepted or hacked.

If in doubt, leave it out

When it comes to anything online that involves your finances. Or confidential information if you have so much as a bad feeling. Something doesn’t look right or you are just not comfortable then don’t act. Don’t input any details or make any transactions. When it comes to online safety it is always better to be safe than sorry.