As people are doing more banking online, you may have noticed your bank has changed their website name from “yourbank.COM” to “yourbank.BANK”.
As a customer, you may not care, but as a web professional, I will explain why the change was made for your protection. By changing to a .BANK domain, banks are voluntarily agreeing to a more stringent set of government regulations. These new regulations are designed to add significant protection from malicious cyberattacks. To begin, .BANK domains are not available to the general public. A banking institution must prove that they are indeed a bank, step one in weeding out cyber criminals trying to steal consumer data.
Second, encryption is taken to the next level. This involves a lot of advanced technology, technology most people wouldn’t understand, so suffice it to say that the level of encryption can never be high enough. Every additional layer of encryption can only help.
Lastly, in the government’s attempt to thwart those trying to steal you identity through phishing emails, red flag should be raised for any consumer who receives an email from someone claiming to be from your bank that doesn’t have the .BANK extension. These malicious emails are designed to look like they are from your real bank, a bank you trust, but in reality, without the .BANK extension, it’s a dead giveaway that it’s a malicious email trying to steal your identity.
What about the businesses and individuals doing business with credit unions? Similar rules are currently being applied. The new .FCU will be the future, raising consumer confidence in the bank industry.
As is always the case, a common sense approach, along with caution, is a consumer strongest defense against being hacked.