At the comfort of our home, we are able to perform various banking tasks using these digital methods.
At the same time, with comfort and with speed, also comes danger in various forms.
There are numerous ways in which you can be hacked or fooled by the use of technology.
And when someone manages to hack you, they can easily do a lot of really bad things ranging from stealing your money to misusing your identity.
So it is very that you stay safe and perform the online banking tasks very carefully. And for the same you need to be first aware of certain safety tips.
In this video I present you with some highly useful safe banking tips.
Vishing and Phishing
These two are very widespread modes of stealing information from customers like you and me.
Vishing is nothing but fraudsters contacting you over a phone call pretending to be bank staff or representatives of banks.
They will lure you via their call and ask you for sensitive information like your credit or debit information including PIN.
You must remember that banks will NEVER ask for sensitive information like this.
Phishing is nothing but emails or SMS messages from fraudsters that look just like the genuine ones.
The email address, the design and look of the email message will be very similar to that of an authorised mail from a bank.
You might not be able to differentiate the phishing mail from a genuine email.
But you must NEVER click on the links in such an email or SMS.
No matter how genuine those messages look, you must not click on any links or provide any of your sensitive information as response to those messages.
Choosing your PIN and Passwords
For almost all of our digital transactions, we get to choose PIN and Password.
It is highly crucial that we choose a hard-to-guess PIN and Pass for the same.
When it comes to passwords, don’t trust anyone.
It is quite common for anyone to choose a very easy and an easily guessable PIN and Password because many of us are afraid that we might forget them.
However, quite common PINs like 1234 or 4321, or a PIN that involves the date of any of your significant days are easily guessable.
When someone just needs your PIN to do a fraud transaction, you must not make it easy for them to just guess your PIN.
And, it is also not wise to use the same PIN and password for all of your bank accounts if you have accounts in different banks.
In addition, it is also good to change your PIN and passwords in regular intervals.
Money Muling frauds
You must be familiar with emails or SMS that claim that you have won a lump sum money.
Or it could be a message claiming that there is a lump sum amount that is unclaimed.
In either case, the sender will ask for your bank account details to deposit the money to your account.
In some cases, they might ask you to make a transfer of a certain amount of money as “Shipping charge” or transaction fee.
You must not take these messages seriously.
When you visit a questionable website your computer or mobile could be infected by a trojan.
A trojan is nothing but a virus that’s downloaded to your phone or computer without your knowledge, when you visit a particular website.
This virus can steal a lot of sensitive information from your computer or phone including passwords.
Some viruses can even get your unsaved passwords by recording your keystrokes.
So you must be very careful with the websites you visit.
Theft of your credit card or debit card details using skimmer devices is called Skimming.
In this theft, only the information is stolen and the actual card is not stolen.
Skimmer devices can be placed by fraudsters in ATMs and they can read the card information present in the magnetic stripe of the card when you insert it in an ATM or swipe in a POS.
They can also steal your PIN number using a pin camera. Then they can use this information to create a new dummy card and steal money from your account.
However this kind of stealing is now put to a halt by the introduction of EMV Chip and PIN-based cards.
To know more about that, check out this video.
Debit and Credit card thefts
Thieves can directly steal your credit or debit cards.
If you use a PIN that someone can easily guess, then it is not a big deal for them to steal your money using the stolen card.
Even if your PIN is a tough one to crack, you can still be watched (via cams anywhere) or someone who knows your PIN can steal your card and use it.
Which is why you should NEVER share your PIN with anyone. You should also not write it anywhere.
It just makes it easy for the thieves to steal.
General tips for safe banking
Taking into account all of the above kind of stealing, you must adhere to general safety tips while carrying out your banking tasks.
Do NOT reveal your sensitive information over a phone call, no matter how genuine the caller sounds.
Choose hard to guess PIN and Passwords. Keep different PINs for your different bank accounts. And change them frequently too.
Do not visit questionable websites.
Do not make transactions in a public/shared computer. Also don’t use a public Wi-Fi to perform banking tasks.
Do not save your PINs and banking related Passwords on your computer or phone. It is easy for the hackers to steal them that way.
I use LastPass for saving ALL of my passwords. But I don’t save passwords on any of my bank accounts in LastPass.
If you are afraid that you might forget them, write them down in a very personal space of yours and NEVER share them with anyone.
When choosing a password, make it strong enough by using a combination of alphanumerics and symbols (as allowed by your bank’s website).
Never shop from websites that you don’t trust.
If you are making a transaction, or entering your card information look out for the padlock symbol at the address bar and a valid SSL certificate.
This shows that the website is secure and the information you enter is encrypted during transfer.
Visit your bank branch and update your mobile number in your account. You need to make sure your mobile number is linked to your account and the notification feature is ON.
This way, you will receive notification for any of the transactions that you make. If you receive any strange notification, you can act immediately.
Be quick and block your ATM card if it is stolen.
Watch this video to know how to do it:
On your mobile, when doing mobile banking, always opt for fingerprint lock if that option is available on your phone. It is generally safer than a PIN option.
If you have to give your phone to a service center or a repair center, make sure you clear your browsing history, cache and also block your mobile banking apps.
Once you receive your phone from the service center, it is good to change the PIN and password of your banking apps.
Never save your passwords, PIN, CVV, or any other confidential information in your phone or your computer.
When you are done with your banking task, log off from your app rather than merely closing it. Similarly log off from your bank’s website on your computer.
Never leave an ATM without properly completing a transaction. If your transaction has failed, make sure to press the “Clear” button to erase any information you entered.
Wait until the welcome message appears on screen and then leave.
These are some of the simple yet effective safety tips. Don’t lose your hard earned money by being careless or ignorant about technology.