Ask the Readers: How to Make Safe Banking & Financial Transactions?

This week I was invited to participate in a small workshop organized by Bitdefender, on the topic of safety for online banking & other financial transactions. I’ve learned some interesting things and I was inspired to start a conversation with you on this topic. What would you recommend that others do, in order to make safe banking and financial transactions online?

Recommendations from BitDefender

While most of the data presented was focused on the Romanian market, the good folks from BitDefender shared some interesting recommendations that apply to anyone, in any country:

  • If you need to do online banking from a smartphone or tablet, try not to use the mobile browser. Instead, install the banking application provided by your bank. Such applications generally have good encryption and are much safer to use on mobile terminals.
  • Avoid making any online financial and banking transactions while connected to a public wireless network, even if you use a security suite on your computer or mobile device. Chances that such networks are monitored by malintentioned people are pretty high.
  • If you can choose between a mobile browser and a desktop browser to make online transactions, go for the desktop browser. Making online transactions on a computer is generally safer than on a mobile device: browsers offer better security and security products are better at protecting you.
  • Especially when you are not connected to a trusted work or home network, it is best to use virtualization technologies included in security suites. For example, Kasperky offers their Safe Run for Websites in Kaspersky Internet Security 2012, which allows you to run your browser in an isolated environment and make sure the data you are sharing when making transactions is not easily sniffed/stolen by others. BitDefender plans to take things further in their 2013 version of security products and offer a standalone browser named BitDefender SafePay which runs in an isolated environment.

    The browser is designed only for making safe online transactions, that are very hard to intercept. It uses an on-screen keyboard for input and doesn’t even allow the creation of screenshots. Also, it uses an encrypted VPN tunnel with BitDefender servers, to make sure your transferred data is safe from prying eyes.

What Other Recommendations Would You Like to Share?

I’m sure that our smart readers know other useful tips to make sure online transactions are done safely, without being intercepted by unwanted people. What recommendations would you like to share? Don’t be shy and share any tips, no matter how trivial they may seem to you.

Your feedback will be used in an upcoming article that will aim to educate people on how to make sure they are safe when they make payments online or they transfer money between bank accounts.