VPN for Your Online Banking: Is It Safe?


It’s a no-brainer and shouldn’t require an explanation of why your online banking information is crucial. It’s clear that slowly but steadily banking is moving online and in some parts of the world it has entirely shifted into the digital platform. Thanks to the advancement in technology, you can now transfer some of your money to savings, cash your paycheck, and even reimburse your friends for dinner right from your bank’s app. There’s no denying that it’s a convenient way of doing things, but it comes with its downside.

For instance, the world is full of fraudulent folks that are willing to do anything to ensure that they lay their hands on your banking information. Therefore, online banking has proved one of the channels they acquire such information. Online banking can be a double-edged sword, and if you could be using public Wi-Fi, you might be a top target for hackers. Therefore, you need to ensure that you stay secure when performing online banking operations, and that’s where a banking VPN comes in handy.

Is online banking safe?

In a nutshell, online banking is generally safe under most circumstances. Banks are doing an excellent job to ensure that all their banking app portals are secure. They have put several features in place including multi-factor authentication and alert notifications to secure their clients. Besides, everyone wants to assume that their online connection is secure. Moreover, websites use the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) that uses TLS encryption to provide security whenever you perform your online banking activities. Therefore, online banking is safe. Unfortunately, fraudsters and scammers have slowly learned ways to outsmart bank systems with all types of spyware, malware attacks, phishing as well as other online scams.

Therefore, it’s easy to say that your online banking is no longer as safe as you might have thought. You can’t entirely rely on multi-factor identification and strong passwords to protect you against hackers. Websites could be using the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) that uses TLS encryption to provide security whenever you perform your online banking activities. So, what’s your best bet? Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are your way to go – they help to hide your identity as well as encrypt all your internet traffic.

How a VPN helps secure online banking

Ideally, there are several ways you can use to ensure that your online banking is secure. For instance, here are some methods;

  • You can opt not to reuse passwords
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Secure your phone number and email
  • Beware of phishing
  • Steer away from public Wi-Fi
  • Update all your apps and operating systems
  • Type the website address yourself

However, a VPN can offer additional protection that all those mechanisms cannot. Here are some ways that a VPN will help your online banking;

1. Prevents DNS poisoning

A VPN is handy when you’re on public Wi-Fi. For instance, when you connect to a given website, you just type in the URL of that website, but your device uses your IP address. The internet then uses the DNS to link your URL to the right IP address. Now, DNS spoofing or simply DNS poisoning happens when a fraudster intercepts your browser’s DNS request and then sends a malicious response.

Ideally, they send a website much like the one you’re after, but since they control it, they’ll be able to see all the information you enter, which includes your bank username and information. However, when you install a VPN, it will help to encrypt all your internet traffic, which includes your DNS requests. That way, you’ll be prevented from DNS spoofing since the attacker won’t be able to see anything you do.

2. Limits access to the bank you use

Public Wi-Fi places are always the target for attackers, and when you connect there, your HTTPS might help prevent attacks but it won’t prevent them from seeing the websites that you’re in – they’ll see the bank that you use and can use such information for more phishing attacks. A VPN encrypts your connection and routes it through the VPN server and attackers will only see the IP address of your VPN server and not the app or website you use.

3. Access to your banking app on the go

Most banking apps will deny you access given that they don’t expect login attempts from an IP address that’s outside your country. However, a VPN will help you to bypass such restrictions as they’ll only see the IP address of the VPN server that you’ll be connected to. Therefore, if you connect to a VPN server that’s in your home country, your banking app will think you’re still there.

The best VPN for online banking

Take note that when connected to a VPN, it replaces your ISP and hence takes care of all your internet connection, which means that it will be able to see all your online activities. Therefore, if you use an untrustworthy VPN, it’s even worse than not using the VPN in the first place. Therefore, before installing any VPN, ensure that you’re satisfied that it offers exactly what it claims.

When a VPN won’t help

There’s no denying that a VPN is an excellent privacy tool for your online banking activities. However, there are scenarios when a VPN won’t be of any help. So, what are such occasions?

  • When using a free VPN
  • When you use a VPN and then keep changing locations when accessing your bank accounts
  • When using a VPN and still visiting untrusted websites
  • When not practicing safe internet behavior
  • When you use weak passwords and then your data gets leaked


While using a VPN makes online banking secure, you should also ensure that you practice safe online behavior. It’s not impossible for your bank to tell that you’re using a VPN, and some might even block the connection or ask you to confirm your identity. These are just some of the matters to look at but it’s a good list of things to start with.

Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Christopher Isak with Midjourney for TechAcute.

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