We live in a digital age where information can be shared and acquired nearly instantaneously. This connectivity has extended to the way in which we manage our finances. Online banking and shopping are quite likely one of the biggest contributors to the growth of e-commerce.
Nowadays with e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay, shopping online has become second nature to us. While the convenience offered by online shopping is enticing, this has unfortunately lured us into a false sense of security.
Almost a decade ago, many of us would scoff at the prospect of sharing our banking and credit card details online. All of that has changed now however, with most of us handing over sensitive financial information without even thinking.
Consequently, hackers and con artists alike have taken advantage of this paradigm shift. From elaborate phishing emails to blunt force hack attacks, these scoundrels are constantly finding new ways to separate us from our hard-earned money.
Before you give up on online banking forever, take a moment to hear us out. Having spoken to several ex-Blackhat hackers and several cybersecurity experts,
Here are a few easy and effective ways to keep your banking information safe.
Use two-way authentication
Two-way authentication is a method in which a one-time password (OTP) is sent by the bank to a customer’s email or phone when a request is made to transfer funds or make payments online. The OTP is valid for typically 5 minutes only and is compulsory to complete a transaction.
This method ensures that a hacker will not be able to siphon any funds out of your account should he/she gain access to your online banking system. As an added security measure, always ensure that your OTP registered phone is on your person at all times. Should you accidentally lose it, report this matter to the bank immediately.
When applying for a new bank account, insist on your bank providing you with two-way authentication for online banking. Also, should a random person contact you with regards to your OTP, block this person immediately as banks will never query customers about their OTP.
Ensure that the website is safe
Another method used by hackers to obtain sensitive banking information is by lulling victims into a false sense of security. Over the years, scammers have become particularly adept at designing decoy websites which trick you into handing over your login and password details.
Always remember that your bank’s name and logo can be replicated. Instead, when performing transactions online, look out for these details.
Never use pirated software on your device
Sure, pirated software may be cheap and easily obtained, but it’s also a major security risk. Besides being illegal, pirated software puts you at risk of infecting your computer or device with a variety of viruses and malware.
Following this, hackers may even attempt to attack your device with a keylogger that monitors all your keystrokes which in turn is used to hack into your bank account.
Avoid public Wi-Fi for online transactions
Just like public toilets, publicly available Wi-Fi typically isn’t the best place for you to do your business. With dozens of guides online on how one can hack into a public Wi-Fi network, you can be sure that there’ll always be somebody watching.
Hence if you need to perform any kind of online banking, it’s always best to leave until you get home. Hackers often monitor public Wi-Fi users and will surely try to obtain any kind of sensitive information.
Use a VPN
If VPNs are great to access Netflix content that is not available in your country or watch the NFL SuperBowl event if you are outside the US, it also has security functions.
VPNs or virtual private networks allow you to hide your IP address and location, thus ensuring that your privacy is protected.This makes it nearly impossible for a hacker to gain access to any sensitive information that you may have.
Online banking facilities are without a doubt extremely convenient. However, they are also extremely enticing targets for hackers and thieves looking to steal your money. By taking the right security precautions, you can ensure that you bank account remains safe.