The remarkable ease and convenience of online banking also come with its share of downsides, and much of it has to do with ever-increasing cases of fraud and cyber threats.
While banks and financial institutions already do all they can to keep their customer accounts and deposits safe, even the most sophisticated security systems don’t stand a chance against negligence and carelessness on the part of customers themselves.
We constantly hear about security breaches at leading institutions, but a vast majority of hack attacks are a result of social engineering, made possible by account holders and their carelessness. In this article, we cover key measures to keep your account secure and stay clear of becoming another statistic.
- Use Strong Passwords & Multi-Factor Authentication
It is 2023, and ‘123456’ still remains the most common password used by millions across the world. It might be easy to remember, but it also makes it a lot easier for nefarious actors to gain access to your hard earned savings.
Fortunately, we now have multi-factor authentication that provides a much-needed additional layer of security in the form of one-time passwords to cell phones and email.
That being said, it is absolutely crucial that bank accounts have a complex password, preferably something that cannot be easily guessed. This means, things like your date of birth, nickname, etc, should not be a part of your password.
- Never Share Account Details
Your login credentials, passwords, and other sensitive account information should not be shared with anyone. Whether it is friends or family, or bank representatives, make sure never to disclose crucial information even when asked for it.
Most bank representatives never ask for sensitive details such as passwords and OTPs, any call that you receive asking for the same, could very well be that of scammers.
It is also wise to keep your personal information away from peering eyes on social media, and other public spaces. With sufficient digging, hackers could reverse engineer your details and gain access via credential recovery mechanisms.
- Beware of Phishing Scams
One of the most common scams, and ways in which millions of people end up losing their money is via phishing scams.
Such scams often start with victims receiving emails or text messages disguised as being from their bank, which often contains a link that takes you to a site similar to the bank website, but if you make the mistake of entering sensitive information on this site, the data is directly sent to cyber criminals.
These are often multinational activities, and once your amount has been stolen, there is little that can be done to retrieve it back. As a result, it is absolutely essential that you stay alert, and spot phishing emails and messages.
- Use Secure Connections
While accessing your bank account online, make sure to always use a secure connection, this means public WiFi is out of the question. Public WiFi can be easily hacked, and if you’re forced to use one, consider working with a VPN or Virtual Private Network to keep your activities secure. With everything going online, and customers even able to open savings accounts online, the lack of a secure connection can be quite problematic.
Apart from this, make sure the website you are working with during such transactions has an ‘HTTPS’ in the URL, along with a lock symbol in the address bar, denoting a secure connection. If not, then it’s best to abandon the transaction right there, so as to not lose sensitive information to vulnerable networks.
Along with its undeniable benefits, online banking, and digitalization come with their share of drawbacks, but by being cautious and proactive, your account, data, and savings will remain secure, and there is absolutely that even the most sophisticated hackers or cybercriminals can do about it.