A lot of persons exhibit extreme nonchalance in issues relating to their bank accounts and overall bank account security. The issue of scam and fraudulent activities is on the rise because people don’t apply adequate measures to secure their bank account. As much as you want to make money, you must do certain things to protect that money from fraudsters.
Here in this article, we will explain various ways you can protect your bank account.
Easy steps to strengthen your bank account security and avoid data breach.
Check your bank accounts regularly
Always keep an eye on your bank account, that will help you know when things are not right. You should also check accounts that you don’t use frequently because your BVN is connected to it. Make sure your debit and credit alerts correspond to your actual expenses. If not, do not hesitate to contact your bank as soon as possible.
Secure your PIN
Your bank account security depends largely on your PIN. Because your PIN is your private number and it is meant for you alone. Any breach can be disastrous to you. Do not go about giving people your PIN. By doing that, you are opening your bank account to fraudsters. Do not trust anyone enough to give out your PIN except you are ready to bear the consequences that come with it. Also, do not give out your PIN to bank tellers. It is meant for you and you alone. Many fraudsters now put fake calls across to people where they ask you to input a certain number, do not input any code. Also, make sure you end such call immediately to avoid further conspiracies.
Use strong passwords
When opening your bank account, they request that you use strong passwords. Your passwords should be very difficult to guess and easy to remember by you alone. Online banking may be the best idea for you, therefore endeavor to create a strong password. Don’t just use your birthdate or name. It is better to include series of numbers, symbols and letters in your password to ensure adequate bank account security.
Be very watchful and vigilante when accessing public places. In the market, school, church or just about anywhere, you need maximum consciousness as fraudsters do not carry a tag while in public places. Secure your cards too because of pickpocket. Also, increase your alertness whenever you are entering the bank or leaving as fraudsters are watching to attack you. If you must withdraw a huge amount of money from the bank, have an escort and secure your money well.
Avoid ATMs in secluded areas
As a way to ensure your bank account security, you must avoid visiting secluded ATMs. Go to somewhere you are familiar with and preferably belongs to your bank. Avoid stand-alone ATMs. Apart from robbing you of your money, you will also prevent them from having access to your private information. Also, take adequate precautions when using a POS too as anything can happen. Protect your yourself and your bank account.
Furthermore, choose your ATMs wisely. If you must use any ATM other than that of your bank, then use ATMs located inside a bank or credit union. These ATMs offer better bank account security in terms of personal safety and identity theft. They are always under 24-hour surveillance so you don’t have to bother about people encroaching into your privacy while using the ATM.
Pay with credit cards when possible
To maintain absolute ban account security, you don’t have to pile up credit card debt. However, some consumers prefer to use a credit card instead of debit card. This is because they think that they are putting your money at risk. You might be responsible for the charges but you’re not exposing your actual account balance to potential threats. Someone can access your account just by checking through your debit card. But even if they gain access to your credit card, they can’t take anything instead they will just pile up charges of which you can contest with your credit card company.
Look out for skimming devices
Always be on the lookout for skimming devices especially when you are at the gas station. According to the Federal Trade Commission, skimming devices a re illegal card readers that are attached to payment terminal. They are mostly found on gas station card readers. They can be used to grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip. In case you want to fuel up, here some tips to consider:
• Look out for the security over the card reader panel in any gas station. Make sure it is not broken or voided.
• Check the attachment to the end of the card reader. If it looks bigger than usual or wiggles when you shake it, it is likely a skimmer. And that can automatically destroy your bank account security.
• To avoid skimmers, pay at the cash register instead of at the lump.
Enable Two-factor Authentication
If your bank offers Two-factor Authentication, go ahead and enable it. It guarantees your bank account security. Many mobile applications have it to help secure the data of user. It also helps you protect your online banking information. You can as well add a second layer of bank account security verification to log in to your online banking account. Enter your login name and password, then you have succeeded in the bank account security test. For instance, you may be expected to provide a specific code, verify your account via automated phone call or Identify preselected image. This ca increase your bank account security, and make it difficult for hackers to identify or unlock your account. Also, enquire if multi-factor authentication is available for your bank. If it is, you can download a free authenticator app to setup your account.
Stop Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi may be convenient for you when you need internet connect, but it comes with disadvantages as regards your bank account. It can pose as a big security risk to you. For example, someone can look over your phone while you log in or can even gain access to your account via Wi-Fi connection.
Also, hackers can electronically eavesdrop on your banking and any other online activity you embark on while using a Wi-Fi. Furthermore, data transmission over unencrypted networks is one of the ways data can be breached via Wi-Fi. Malicious hotspots, malware and spyware is also part of the disadvantages that come with using public Wi-Fi.
The only way to avoid this is by not using public Wi-Fi at all.
If you must use the internet to access your bank account while you’re in a public place, there are a few things you can do to help stay secure. You can disable public file sharing and stick with sites that are encrypted. Also, another easy way to check for encryption is to look for “https” in the site’s URL. This also triggers the lock icon to the left of the URL in your browser. Your laptop or mobile device’s firewall may automatically flag sites that are deemed unsafe for you.
Furthermore, you can also consider setting up a virtual private network, or VPN. This essentially creates a private network that only you can access. You can set up a VPN through your mobile device or laptop using a VPN service, Norto.
Sign Up for Banking Alerts
Notifications are one of the stress-free ways to monitor your bank account security because you can monitor what you do. These notifications could be in form of text messages or email messages.
Depending on how your bank operates, you may be able to enroll in email or text alerts to receive notifications. With many institutions, you have the option to set up text alerts every time a charge is made on your credit or debit card. While the extra notifications on your phone may seem like a nuisance, this can often be the fastest way to detect a fraudulent charge.
The kinds of alerts you may want to set up include notifications for new credit and debit transactions, failed login alerts, password change alerts and outgoing wire transfer alerts. For example, if an identity thief is attempting to log in to your account, you will receive a notification immediately.
You could then access your account by yourself and make the necessary changes as regards your passwords to strengthen your bank security.. Notifications also can help if someone does manage to hack your account and make a fraudulent purchase. You can notify the bank right away that your online banking details have been compromised, to prevent any additional fraudulent activity.
Avoid Phishing Scams
This method is common amongst hackers when it come to identity fraud. They use it to gain access to personal and financial information of individuals. In this kind of scam, they trick you into letting out your information. Phishing Scams occurs in different forms but they are often related to email Scams. You might receive an email with features from your bank, requesting you to log in to your online account and update your information. You might click on that link and input your details but it is actually not a legal site. By clicking on the clink alone, you give them the opportunity to transfer malware to your computer. Then, it gives the fraudster access to your keystrokes.
Therefore, it is important that you properly check every email before giving out your personal information. If need be, contact your bank via their official line to confirm if they asked for such information.
If you can’t do that immediately, check the email address of the sender. Same thing applies when you receive a phone call claiming to be from your bank. Common Phishing Scams involve calls, texts and emails demanding sensitive information from you. Hesitate to send any information till you have contacted your local brand or customer service to verify.
Check financial apps before downloading
Another thing that can affect your bank account security is applications. Financial apps can be mobile banking apps that helps you with paying bills, shopping or other money-related transactions. But they do not guarantee financial security.
If you must use mobile banking apps, make sure you are using your bank’s verified banking app.
Also, be extra careful concerning who have access to your mobile banking details. For example, you might be thinking of using a robo-advisor app or a budgeting app to manage your money. These apps may ask you to share your login credentials for online banking so they can pull information to create your financial picture.
That only can expose or put your information at risk if those secondary apps aren’t secure. Not to mention, doing so can also violate your bank’s terms of service. Before downloading financial apps from the app store, check the ratings first. Then, do a little homework and research the app developer’s security policies and whether it has a history of data breaches. Sometimes, reviews can be tricky. Do not bank on it entirely. Do proper research.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with online banking, but you just have to be extra careful. Online banking gives you control over your financial life at the touch of a button. But, that does not imply that you should turn a blind eye to the risks when it comes to bank account security. That shouldn’t keep you from using online and mobile banking anyway. The measures outlined in the article can help you monitor your bank account and avoid being a victim of scammers.
Also, remember to keep up with basic security measures for your devices. Install firewall security on your laptop or mobile device if you haven’t done that yet. Use a password to lock your laptop and take advantage of facial recognition or fingerprint locking on your phone. Lastly, keep your operating systems updated. By being proactive with managing security risks, you can help decrease the odds of your online banking information ending up in the wrong hands.