5 ways to improve your online banking security

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By Margarette Burnette

Online banking ¨by computer or by phone¨ is now as common a way to access your accounts as stopping at an ATM, with three-quarters of Americans making it habit, according to the Federal Reserve.
But you know who else loves online banking? Hackers. After all, it’s easier to do what they do from far away than to take someone’s money while standing in line at the teller window.
Banks and credit unions are beefing up their security systems to fight cybercrime: More than 70% of bank technology executives say they’ve increased their annual budgets in this area, according to an American Banker survey. But consumers also have a role to play.

Here are five steps to take to protect your accounts so you can bank securely online.
1. Ask for two-factor authentication. When you log in to a website, you prove who you are by entering a username and a password. That’s one factor. With two-factor authentication, you’re asked to enter another piece of identification, such as a temporary code. The bank would email or text you the code at the time you try to log on, so it’s unlikely someone else could receive it beforehand.
2. Skip public Wi-Fi.
3. Set up reminders to change your password.
4. Be wary of “official-looking” notices.
5. Ask your bank how it’s keeping your records secure.
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