Important tips to protect your online financial and bank accounts
The banking operation process has changed completely in recent times with the advent of new online technology. You no longer need to go in person to a bank to carry out banking activities. You can perform activities such as money transfer, bill payments, deposit cheques or even open a new bank account with just a single touch sitting at your home. Online banking makes managing and handling of financial management easy, trouble free and user oriented. You can even make use of online banking facilities while you are travelling or are constantly on the go.
Along with many benefits and advantages, one major concern using online banking services is security. Despite the substantial measures and actions that the banks take to strengthen their online banking security, no system is completely secured and safe. Hackers have found complex and sophisticated ways to circumvent the system and hack bank accounts of unsuspecting customers. The cyber criminals can drain your account off money or perform an identity theft and apply for loans and credit cards with your name. It is important that you as customers should follow basic hygiene practises and be alert all the time while performing an online banking activity as you have worked extremely hard for your money. These are the steps you can follow to protect your online bank account and business financial security.
Risks involved in online banking
Although banks and financial institutions put a good amount of investment on the online security of the banking interface, there are many other ways in which a cyber criminal can gain access to your online account. Phishing techniques are the most common type of attack used by scammers. In this technique, scammers disguise or masquerade themselves as a representative of the bank and send instant messages and emails containing links embedded with suspicious codes. Your personal credentials are compromised once you click on the suspicious message or links. The scammers also take advantage of something known as credential stuffing wherein a user uses the same login credentials for multiple accounts. This technique capitalises on the fact that if any one of the accounts of the victim is compromised, they can simultaneously hack his or her other accounts as well. A malware attack through notifications or a man in the middle attack by using a public Wi-Fi can occur if you ae not alert and don’t follow safe security practises.
Steps to undertake to protect your online bank account
Manage your online bank account responsibly: Know the terms and conditions before operating an online account. Read the risks involved and steps to be taken in case a fraudulent activity occurs from your account. Check your transactions regularly and report un authorised transaction the the bank authorities. Banks have certain policies that your money maybe recovered fully if you report unauthorised transactions as soon as possible.
Have a strong and unique password: This may seem like an obvious thing to say but password bypasses and password stealing is one the major reason why your account is compromised. Avoid the following mistakes: Avoid using personal information such as your name, date of birth or your nickname Don’t create short and easy passwords which are easy to guess. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Update your password regularly. Use a password manager which helps you with creating unique and long passwords and also provides you with a password vault where you cab store all your passwords.
Enable multi factor authentication: Multi factor authentication as the name suggests is a process which requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a data or an application. In the first verification stage the user is told to provide the username and password to login or access data. In the second authentication stage a text message, for instance a one-time password is sent to the users second device which he has registered for authentication The user is supposed to enter the OTP to login into his or her account. MFA acts as an extra layer of security is very helpful in thwarting fraudulent financial transactions. MFA sets a trigger if a criminal or a scammer is trying to hack into your account and alerts the victim. The victim can then inform the bank and seek or implement preventive measures.
Avoid downloading and using third party apps: Don’t use third party apps or platforms for financial transactions. If you have to absolutely use it, make sure that the app or the platform are from an official source and bereft of any security incidence. Make sure the app is secure and has regular patches for bug fixes. Limit the amount of data you share and set privacy settings to private.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi’s may seem enticing while you are on the go but it is advisable to avoid using public Wi-Fi’s as they have set of risks associated with them. You can fall prey to Man in the middle attacks and the attacker can eavesdrop on your system and data and gain unauthorised access to your personal data. Public networks are setups and hotspots for malware and spyware attacks as the data transmitted and received are unencrypted. If you have to use a public network, remember using a VPN which disguises or hides your IP address and makes it difficult for the scammer to hack. Disable public file sharing and stick to sites which are secured. Use a good anti spyware program and have a robust firewall.
Subscribe for banking alerts and messages: Enabling banking alerts and notifications is one of the easiest ways to monitor and track your account. The alerts cab be in any form such as text messages, emails or a simple push notification. The alert basically lets you know about your financial transactions, failed login alerts and password change alerts. This helps you in tracking your account and takin preventive measures if some one is trying to hack into your account.
Recognise Phishing scams: The phishing mails have a similar basic stricture and are easy to recognise. The mails or messages have Typing, grammatical and spelling errors. Company logo is fake and is made to look similar to the original logo. The mails aspect ratio is incorrect. Images are of low resolution. The URLs are not secured and have typos. It is generally time bound to force you to act fast. Always check with your bank or do your research about the authenticity of the mails and messages before divulging personal details.