Be careful when banking online -

Be careful when banking online

Banking online is so convenient, but big security breaches may make you wonder if it's really safe.

In one recent case, hackers got into Citibank's computers and more than 200,000 customer accounts were compromised.

Security experts, though, say that banking online should be just about as safe as walking into a bank branch and doing it. And while most of the heavy lifting is done by the banks themselves, as they encrypt and protect all of that data, there are a few steps you can take that will help you stay safe:

First, never click on any hyperlinks in emails from people you don't know. That's how crooks get malware onto your computer! A bank will never send you an email asking you to verify information.

Make sure you have antivirus and anti-malware programs on your computer-and update them regularly.

And don't forget that your smartphone is, in fact, a computer. Apps can have malware in them, too. If you want to download a bunch of fun apps on your phone, think twice about ever using it to access your bank account.

Another hot spot for thieves is social networks. To be safe, stay away from any embedded links - even those that appear to be recommended by friends.

And don't do what far too many of us do - use the same, predictable password for all of your accounts. You need to come up with creative passwords, and change them frequently!

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