How do I know that my bank account is secure?
on 16 Oct, 2018
The progress of technology has brought upon new and exciting ways for people to manage the essential aspects of their existence, which includes finances. However, the online banking revolution also opened up never encountered before possibilities for attackers to hack into bank accounts and pursue fraudulent operations.
Fortunately, a little preventive action will take you a long way. In this article, we will discuss the seven main ways in which you can maintain or enhance your account’s security.
Enhancing Your Bank Account’s Security
1. Don’t Go for the Obvious PIN
The PIN number you choose for your credit and debit cards is the first layer of protection you have against malicious third-party attacks. Thus, you will need to choose a unique combination that is hard to crack or guess. Avoid simple number sequences such as 0000, 1234, 5678, or repetitions like 1122, 3344, 1212, 3434, and so on.
In addition to this, you should refrain from using meaningful and easy to discover dates for your PIN number. Examples of what to steer clear from include your year of birth or that of your spouse, a part of your address or phone number, or digits from your social security number. When in doubt, just punch in random numbers and write them down somewhere safe.
2. Choose a Reliable Bank
Plenty of options exist nowadays when it comes to banks, and they always try to keep an edge over competitors with fresh and advantageous offers and packages. But while it might seem tempting to seize them, it is essential that you research a financial institution’s security policies thoroughly before creating an account. Never settle for anything less than the best in the game.
3. Skip the Public Wi-Fi
Thanks to the progress of technology, we can now manage our finances online by using a personal computer or a smartphone. Of course, a functional Internet connection is required for this, but those are just about anywhere nowadays, right? Still, as simple as it might be to connect to a public Wi-Fi network to check your account’s balance, it’s better not to.
All modern Wi-Fi networks are encrypted in WPA2, which contains a major flaw in the case of public connections. Unfortunately, its vulnerability opens a gateway for hackers to intercept your sensitive data and use it for nefarious purposes. Thus, when handling money, it’s best to practice Internet hygiene and reserve in-app transactions for the home only.
4. Choose a Strong Password…
If you are a banking app user, then you already know that accessing this type of program involves a password. It is different from the personal identification number required to withdraw money from an ATM. This additional key provides your financial data with a supplementary layer of protection, which means that it is your duty to ensure that it is strong.
According to Business Insider, a good password is unique for the platform and not recycled anywhere else. It doesn’t contain any easily identifiable information that relates to your name, favorite food, pet, date of birth, and so on. Furthermore, it is comprised of both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as random numbers and symbols.
5. …and Don’t Change It Too Often
We all know the drill: “passwords should be changed at least twice a year, if not monthly, for the maximum level of cybersecurity to be achieved. This way, you will always lock out unlawful invaders before they manage to have their way with your account.” But in spite of this belief’s popularity, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
As outlined by the National Cyber Security Centre, coming up with a new password every 30 to 180 days, as per the vast majority of admin advice, has no real security benefit for users. If anything, it imposes an additional burden, which is why most people come up with slight variations of their old code anyway.
Of course, if the organisation or website where your account is registered suffers a breach, you must change the password you use for that account immediately. On top of that, if you use the same login details for more than one account, change those passwords too, and ensure that they are different from each other this time around.
Proper online hygiene is thus the only reliable way to safeguard your money both on and off the Internet. Always scan for potentially nefarious logins, and take appropriate action in that very moment. Anything more is unnecessary.
6. Enable the Text Alerts Feature
Averting fraud is vital, but you should also be prepared to act in the off chance that it does happen to you in spite of all these preventive measures. A reliable way to detect any suspicious activity in your account is to enable the text alert feature many apps offer. You will then know right away once an unauthorized transaction has been performed.
7. React Promptly in the Case of Fraud
Once you have identified an instance of credit card fraud pertaining to your account, the most important thing is to act promptly. Notify the bank immediately and block your funds until the issue is remedied. Ensure that you report the unlawful activity to Action Fraud promptly as well.
This will increase the chance of the perpetrator being apprehended and for justice to be served swiftly. What is more, Action Fraud will obtain more intelligence for compiling its fraud trends.
The Bottom Line
Innovations in banking technologies certainly made our lives easier, but they also brought upon unpredictable threats. It is your responsibility to secure your bank account to the best of your capacities. And in the eventuality that disaster does strike, always react swiftly and prevent any further damages from being inflicted to your sensitive data
Images: Deposit Photos
Contributor: OnlineLoginGuides provides simple instructions that allow you to complete the sign in procedure of a variety of online portals and online service providers.