TIP 1: Use an authenticator, a device or application that you can request from the bank. It generates a different code every time you log into your internet banking account. This is to be used in conjunction with your password.
HOW DOES THIS HELP? This code creates another barrier to anyone trying to hack into your bank account. Even if your internet banking password is stolen, the intruder would not be able to access your account without the authenticator code.
RECOMMENDATION Some banks provide a physical device, while others offer apps that can be downloaded onto your smartphone.
TIP 2: Setting a strong password. Some people use easy passwords such as “abc123”, “11111” or even "password" because they don't want to keep forgetting what it is, but that also makes it easy for hackers.
HOW DOES THIS HELP? The danger of the aforementioned examples of passwords is obvious. A strong password would safeguard you, and the only price to pay is having to memorise it or write it down somewhere safe – and that does NOT include the harddrive of your laptop or portable gadget.
RECOMMENDATION If you want a password that is easy to remember but not as easy to figure out, how about “Pa55w0rd”? Alternatively, you can try the name of your first pet or a word that has a special meaning to you but few people know.
TIP 3: Have a firewall running
HOW DOES THIS HELP? This prevents others from connecting to your device remotely. In addition, it prevents spyware and malware from infecting your system.
RECOMMENDATION Ensure that you have a firewall installed on your device. Also, consider making it a habit of turning off all wifi and Bluetooth settings when you’re not using them, as this would also reduce the possibility of an uninvited remote connection being made.
Tip 4: Be aware of shoulder surfers
WHAT IS THIS? These are individuals who look over people’s shoulders to gain information.
HOW DOES THIS HELP? Many of us are usually concentrated on what we’re doing on our laptop or portable gadget that we don't even notice when someone is behind us or sitting next to us looking at our computer screen. By being aware of our surroundings, we can deter shoulder surfers from spying on us.
RECOMMENDATION Use a screen protector that only allows viewing from right in front of the screen.
Tip 5: Install software patches regularly
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Patches are official updates to systems and softwares that have been released by manufacturers to improve the usability and stability of the system.
HOW DOES THIS HELP? By ensuring that you are running the latest patches, you ensure that the softwares or apps that you're using offer the latest improvements – many of which enhance the security of your system.
RECOMMENDATION For desktops and laptops, make sure that you enable them to automatically download and install the latest system updates. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets should also be updated when a new system patch has been released.
To learn more tips on how to maintain internet security, check out the Smart Traveller article from the upcoming June issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. To subscribe, click here.