That wasn’t me was it?

September 8, 2010

Facebook is rolling out a feature that lets users log themselves out of their Facebook sessions remotely.  If you log into Facebook on a friend’s computer or phone, but forgot to log out, you can end that session remotely from a different device.  This is an important feature because once you log in to Facebook, you could stay logged in for a long time – even after closing your browser or restarting your computer.

Online Banking and Facebook are decidedly different. However, they share at least one thing in common:  the need for security.  Phishing for Facebook account credentials is becoming more common. Phishing for online banking credentials has been common for quite some time.  Since security is still a major concern among online bankers, it makes sense for financial institutions to implement features that help users better manage their online financial security.

Users could better manage their online banking security if they were presented with more detailed log in event information for their account.   Many online banking sites already display your “last log in” when you first enter the site.  The problem with the last log in date is you don’t always know what it should be.  You might have been the one that logged in on the 27th, but do you really remember?

At the very least, financial institutions should display the date and time of the last log in event. They could  take the feature a step further and provide a history of log in events for your account.  Like Facebook, they could even  allow you to monitor if any other device is currently logged into your account and then give you the option of ending any sessions on other devices.  Location is also an important component of each log in event.  Even if you don’t remember when you last logged in, you probably remember the different places from which you have accessed your account.

All of these components could be used together to give users more control over their online banking security.  Greater control and insight leads to increased trust. The more people trust your online banking security, the more likely they are to use your online banking site.


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