Understanding expatriate banking

If you are an expatriate, chances are you would have set up a local bank account in your current country of residence, and that you conduct your current financial transactions from this bank account. In most countries, banking services now include internet banking which has become the best means of accessing your account, paying your bills, making investments and gaining access to a host of other financial services from the comfort of your home.

Tips about internet banking security

If internet banking is new to you, there are some very important tips that you may find useful to also ensure that everything you do via internet banking is protected, as that protection starts with you. When you sign up for internet banking, always ensure that this is done securely from the time the account is created and the internet banking access provided. In order to keep your financial information secure, it is suggested that you regularly change your password and always ensure that you use an alphanumeric password which is harder to crack. Also beware when accessing your internet banking facilities in a public place such as internet cafés in order to ensure that your keying in of details is not tracked or recorded.

When logging on for internet banking, always note that you should not use other sites to access your banking information. You should go directly to the main bank site and login from there. A little tip here is that the URL will read “https” rather than “http” when you are logging in and there should be a visible padlock on the screen (normally on the top right). Where possible, always avoid using shared computers to access banking information as there is simply no guarantee that your logging in process is not recorded. Some public computers may have spyware installed that can track your keystrokes and then duplicate these for later reference for people intent on accessing your banking information.

When you are done with your banking online, always ensure that you log out completely and clear the history or cache of the computer that you used. Other general tips include never writing down your username or password anywhere or storing this information on your mobile phone.

When banking from abroad

One of the latest activities of phishers, i.e. people or organizations that phish for banking information is to send you emails that tell you your account has been hacked or that your account has been suspended for any number of reasons. Most often, these emails will request you to click on a URL in the email in order to rectify the situation. Never ever do this as even though the email may look legitimate, the URL listed may be for phishing purposes. If you are in doubt about whether your account has been suspended, exit the email and open your access to your account directly from the main bank account website. Chances are you will find that everything is in order and there is absolutely no truth to the email you received. Banks never send emails as they prefer the old fashioned route of snail mail or that ever personal telephone call with a smile!

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