Online banking should be user-friendly and convenient. At Bitwala, it is also our top priority to make it secure and compliant. In this article, we provide you with seven crucial banking tips that will help you keep your online accounts safe, including your Bitwala account.
1. Enable 2 Factor authentication
2FA protects your account by adding an extra layer of security. Once enabled, it works by generating a unique code each time you log in which is valid for only 30 seconds. Another form of 2FA is SMS Transaction Authentication Number (TAN). After creating a transfer, initiating a new standing order or buying and selling bitcoin we send a TAN code to your mobile number for extra security. For more information, read our support centre article on how 2FA works.
2. Don’t log into your account on public WiFi networks
Internet in cafes, airports and other public spaces can be convenient to use when you are on the go. It can also, however, be insecure as it is the perfect place for someone who wants to harvest important information. Stealing information in public places usually happens as follows:
An attacker sets up a fake network - for example “Best Cake Shop WiFi” or “Airport Free WiFi”. Anyone who logs in and browses via this network will be transmitting passwords and other information from their browsing session. Therefore, always pay attention to which network you are connected to and never log in to your online banking portal via insecure networks or networks that are not password protected.
3. Use a VPN
If you absolutely have to use a public network, say while travelling or for an emergency, make sure to do so using a VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it adds an extra layer of protection to your internet traffic by shielding it from any 3rd party snooping.
4. Pay attention to the Web address that you are visiting
Familiarity breeds negligence and this is what a fake web address is playing on. Otherwise known as phishing, this tactic can result in you losing your financial information. To mitigate this risk, always examine carefully the address that you are about to visit, most importantly the one leading to your online banking portal.
Furthermore, only visit websites that are encrypted. We recommend using HTTPS Everywhere, a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera that encrypts your communication across most websites. Phishing can also take other forms, which we’ve covered in this article about phishing.
5. Create strong, unique passwords
Create strong, unique passwords for each site you visit. As we already outlined in our how to stay safe online, this is best achieved with the use of password managers.
6. Always log out when you are done
It is always best practice to log out of your online banking session when you’ve finished your tasks. This will limit the chances of falling prey to session hijacking or other sorts of vulnerabilities that are facilitated by having an ongoing online banking session. Bitwala’s account does this for you by logging you out after 30 minutes of inactivity.
7. Monitor your accounts regularly
Last but not least, monitoring your account activity and reviewing bank statements is good practice to spot any unauthorised transactions early-on. Look at every transaction since you last logged in on your Bitwala account, and if you spot any anomalies, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above tips should go a long way to help make your online banking experience safer and more secure. If you need any more advice our support team is always here for you at email@example.com.