Let’s face it — going online for a loan or line of credit is convenient. You don’t even have to leave your house to speak with a teller in-person. Instead, you can pull out your phone and request a line of credit or loan right there from your spot on the couch — or anywhere you can connect to the Internet!
But with convenience comes greater risks. By exchanging your financial information online, you’re vulnerable to data breaches that may lead to fraud.
Is it possible to borrow safely with an online line of credit or loan? Of course! Just make sure your financial institution promises the following securities.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption
SSL is an essential feature of any website that sends or receives information. This encryption technology scrambles account numbers, login credentials, and other identifying information. It’s a code that’s hard to crack. If it’s a randomized encryption, it may take too long for the average criminal.
This feature is one of the easiest to check for. Just look to the left of your URL. There should be a closed padlock next to the domain.
Put simply, a firewall is a guard. It monitors the activity (or traffic) on a network, and it may restrict unauthorized access to unwanted traffic (like viruses or hackers). Without it, these unwelcome guests may find it easy to sneak in and steal data.
Firewall comes in all shapes and sizes, but many financial institutions use a mixture of hardware and software versions.
Data Privacy Policies
Cybersecurity goes beyond physical tech. It relies on a much broader response from every employee — from C-suite executives to the newest interns. It should be a financial institution’s policy to educate employees about the need for financial privacy, so they only share information when it’s authorized.
Account Takeover Protections
Account takeover is the term for when a fraudster hacks your line of credit or loan to use it as their own. Some financial institutions have protections in place to identify and prevent this from happening.
These protections rely on continuous monitoring of your account, searching out anomalies in your use or login habits. Anomalies trigger an automatic hold placed on your account.
The same goes for opening new accounts. By comparing your usual online behavior and IP addresses to those used by a fraudster, tech may help financial institutions identify when a fraudster is attempting to open an online line of credit or loan.
Don’t Overlook CyberSecurity the Next Time You Borrow
Borrowing money online is fast, quick, and convenient. But it’s not without its risks. With more information being shared online, your financial good name may be in the crosshairs of a fraudster.
Luckily, cybersecurity is evolving right alongside cybercrime. Financial institutions that take your privacy seriously will do all they can to protect your data.
But your security doesn’t end there.
After finding a responsible lender, you have some duty to make sure you’re sharing and safeguarding your data properly. Take a look at these tips to learn how to keep your personal information out of the hands of a fraudster.