There are a plethora of risks involved with performing online credit checks and online banking.
By creating an online account for your credit reports or online banking, you ultimately leave your personal security in the hands of another organization. For example, If your bank is involved in a data breach, there is a pretty good chance that your credentials are now circulating around the black market. In fact, if your bank has notified you of a breach, it is recommended that you check your credit report to ensure that nobody has stolen your identity.
Malware can also be used by hackers to get access to your computer, smartphone, or other device. By doing so, they may be able to steal your banking information or even withdraw money from your account.
Another thing to look out for is phishing. In a phishing attack, the cybercriminal will attempt to trick you into handing over sensitive information such as your login credentials. They will most oftentimes pose as an entity you trust. In this case, they may pretend to be your bank asking you to confirm your password via a fake website that looks identical to a legitimate banking site. It is important to note that your bank will NEVER reach out to you to ask for your confidential information.
Although we do not recommend online banking, we understand that in certain circumstances it may be necessary for some individuals. If you find yourself in this group, then using a VPN will encrypt the connection between your device and the website. This will ensure that your internet session remains private and secure. In addition to the VPN, using a strong password will go a long way. It is also necessary that you set up multi-factor authentication on your account so that even if your credentials are stolen, there is still going to be an extra layer of security to keep you safe. When creating an account, it might also be a good idea to use an AnonAddy address instead of your personal email address.
As an extra precaution, do NOT ever conduct your online banking while connected to an open or public WiFi network.