Protect your online bank account from hackers

Of the various cyber attacks, those that aim to get hold of users' financial data are on the rise. Here's what to do to defend yourself

Hackers never take a vacation, not even in the summer. It sounds like a movie title, but unfortunately, it's the plain, unvarnished truth. Among the different types of attacks, the most frequent are those that aim at stealing users' financial information, also due to the growth of home banking.

Having an online current account is certainly a convenience, you can quickly perform a series of operations - think about transfers - without physically going to the bank. At the same time, an online bank account hides many risks, connected to the flourishing computer activity of hackers. There are many people, in fact, who continuously fall into the treacherous traps of cyber criminals, skilled in emptying the bank accounts of victims. But how is this possible? Unfortunately, although financial institutions offer very effective security systems, they can do nothing against the superficiality of the users.

How hackers act

Hackers have numerous tools at their disposal to steal access credentials to people's bank accounts. Most of these cyberweapons require a minimum of involuntary cooperation from the victims. All you have to do is click on a link and download a Trojan horse or spyware to your computer, which then stealthily takes over everything on the infected computer.

Normally, hackers use email as their primary medium. They send messages that look and act like official bank emails and invite users to enter their bank account details into fake websites that are almost identical to the real ones. The victims who fall into the trap are many. The technique is known as phishing.

Sometimes the emails contain a malicious attachment or a link to a server, from which hackers install malware that will steal the financial information of the victims. One of the most insidious systems are keyloggers, programs that can store and collect everything you type on your keyboard, including passwords and online banking information.

How to Protect Yourself Against Hackers

Hackers have honed their weapons over the years, but very little is needed to limit the risks. First and foremost, it's important to prevent problems by implementing a few simple measures.

To begin with, it's important not to click on links or open attachments that come from suspicious emails. Also check the sender's address and make sure it is the same as the one used by your bank. If in doubt, give your financial institution a call.

Do not enter your bank account credentials on unsecured websites for any reason. Check before making a payment that the platform uses the https protocol (usually accompanied by the green padlock symbol), which prevents data transfer from being intercepted by third parties.

Another way to defend your bank account from cyber criminals is to preferably always use the same browser and computer. Another computer could be infected.

Check your statements periodically, especially compare the paper version with the digital one. And last but not least, keep your computer and antivirus updated. Always.