Today, we are in the digital age, where advanced technology makes everything easier. The advantage digitalization offers to organizations is especially remarkable. Organizations like banks that had to deal with millions of people and billions of transactions daily can now manage a large proportion of their customers online. As a result, online banking is gaining in popularity, thanks in part to the convenience it accords the customers.
With the advancement in technology, people feel that their data is secure; however, this is not always true as the cybercriminals are also utilizing the same advanced technology and trying hard to acquire sensitive data by any means necessary, especially data related to bank accounts.
Why Do You Need To Protect Your Bank Account?
Wherever there is money, people are looking for easy ways to get rich quickly by getting a hold of it, by hook, or by crook. No one wants these people to fool them and compromise the safety of their financial information. After all, this is your hard-earned money, the fruit of your labor that we’re talking about.
There are various things you should be aware of to protect your bank account, and we will take you through a few important points of email security you should know in this article.
Indications That Your Bank Account Has Been Hacked
Be aware of things that look out of place, and keep your eyes open for the following typical signs:
- Unusual transactions: There is a suspicious transaction or unusual activity done from the account. The action may be in the form of purchases or transactions made at places you’ve never visited.
- Unexpected purchases: The deal done is of a minimal amount. The attackers usually do this to test if the card is working or not so that they can perform large transactions from the credit/debit card.
- Denied login: The bank has blocked the login process. There are chances that the hacker has tried too many logins attempts, and this made the bank prevent using it.
- Notifications from your bank: Depending on your banker, you may get calls regarding suspicious activities; however, you should never divulge your account information over phone calls even if the caller claims to be from your bank.
- Denied transactions: Your bank may deny your dealings because the attacker has already emptied it.
- Unsolicited closure of the account: Your bank may have even closed your account altogether because there is no cash in the account as the attacker has emptied it.
Never ignore these warning signs, as trivial as they may seem, and immediately contact your bank and have them block all transactions till you can take appropriate countermeasures.
Ways Through Which Your Bank Account Can Be Hacked
Scammers employ various intelligent techniques to hack bank accounts and do so successfully. The methods range from creating sophisticated programs to merely asking for your details over a voice call.
- Keeping weak passwords can make it easy for hackers to break into your account.
- Hackers may pose as the bank authority and give you fraud calls asking for your bank account details. They usually provide the security of the account as their reason for needing the details.
- They may operate fake websites – or send you spam links in emails that redirect you to these sites – that ask you to provide your sensitive personal data.
- You may accidentally install malware on your system while surfing the net, or the scammers may send you emails containing this malware purporting to be from trusted sources. These malicious programs can intercept your financial information and passwords.
- The attackers can use public connections like public wifi to intercept your data and access the account.
- Sometimes, it may not be you but your bank and their websites that have vulnerabilities. Such loopholes may allow unauthorized entities to breach the system.
- Scammers may also employ hardware such as card scanners, which are attached to ATMs to capture your card details and record the passcode.
Ways To Safeguard Your Bank Account
- Always double-check the security of a website before doing online transactions or downloading any file.
- Avoid sharing sensitive data with strangers and even with family members and friends.
- Install a reputed antivirus on your system and run scans at regular intervals to ensure that you do not download infected files into the system.
- Avoid using free public connections while shopping as this is an easy way the attackers can acquire your credentials.
- Look out for unusual attachments, signs of tampering, or anything out of place before using ATMs.
- Never leave your cards and bank-related documents out of sight or lying around where others can see them.
- Don’t employ familiar patterns for your passwords. Keep different passwords for each account so that even if one account is breached, the other accounts are secure. You don’t want cyber criminals to have access to all your accounts with a single password.
- Always use strong passwords. The password should be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters and try to incorporate more special characters as this makes it difficult for the attackers to crack it.
- Develop a habit of hiding the keypad while entering your PIN code at ATMs. The method may be as simple as positioning your body between the keyboard and anyone in close vicinity.
- Never share your password with anyone, even with your family members, and also never write it down or send it to others or yourself via emails or any electronic communication.
- If you have a habit of forgetting your passwords, consider using well-known password managers.
- Always keep the answers to security questions challenging to guess.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. A 2FA is a powerful tool to protect your bank account from hackers as it requires any login attempt to confirm identity via your registered phone or email.
- If there is any suspicious activity or anything about your account that looks unusual, report it to the bank immediately.
- Cross-verify your transactions for any fraudulent activities and if there are any, contact the bank.
- Be wary of calls that ask for your bank account details. Many people fall for such scams even after repeated reminders by financial institutions that they never ask for such critical information over phone calls.
- Check your credit history regularly as the attacker may use your bank account to sign up for some online schemes or financial products.
- For more protection of your account, sign up for text alerts from your financial institution as it can help to keep track of all the transactions in real-time.
Protecting your bank account from attacks is only going to get more challenging as hackers seem to grow in ingenuity and technology as fast as the rest of the world. However, once you develop the best practices pointed out as a habit, you have a good chance of reducing the possibility of having your bank account hacked to a minimum.