How to keep your information safe when banking online
In today’s world, ‘sharing’ has become the new norm and with the age of social media, it comes quite naturally to us. While we share personal moments on our social feeds, when it comes to financial details, we need to pay more attention and employ sound practices to keep our sensitive personal information safe and secure.
There is a plethora of information available at the consumer’s disposal today – From protecting passwords, to securing devices from malware, hackers and other threats. As more consumers adopt mobile-first banking, it has also become important to understand the risks and concerns involved.
Here are a few tips to help you minimize the risks to your finances and bank safely online:
1. Guard your personal information: Make sure that your phone automatically locks after not being used for a specified period, guarded by a strong password
2. Think before you app: Apps from the app store are less likely to contain malware and more likely to be honestly evaluated by the marketplace. A malware is a software that can make its way into your mobile phone through apps that grant unauthorized access to your device, creating a security threat. Download apps only from reputable sources such as Google/iOS app store and use the official banking app promoted by your bank for conducting transactions
3. Protect your money: Don’t follow any links or instructions from unknown or suspicious sources. When banking and shopping on a mobile device, ensure the sites are secure. Avoid hyperlinks within emails
4. When in doubt, don’t respond: Fraudulent texts and callings are on the rise. Just like fraudulent emails, requests for personal information or a call for immediate action are almost always a scam. Also, shy away from online offers or schemes from unknown entities that seek sensitive financial information like details about credit card or bank account, online banking passwords. And never reply to emails or messages claiming that the recipient has won a considerable sum of money in an online lottery or promotion
5. Say no to public Wi-Fi hot spots: Be careful about where and how you conduct transactions. Do not use your device in an unsecured Wi-Fi network in a public place. An unsecured Wi-Fi is not password protected and fraudsters might be able to access the banking information you are transmitting or viewing over such an open network
6. Don’t send personal information via SMS/Emails: Don’t send bank account numbers or other sensitive financial information through calls, regular e-mails or text messages because those are not necessarily secure. Communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information only via a secure website or IVR
7. Regularly update personal information: Always ensure that you update the bank regarding any change in your personal contact information. This way you will be intimated immediately regarding any activity on your banking account
8. Closely monitor your bank account: When it comes to online banking, it is vital to monitor your bank account closely and report any suspicious activity to the bank and immediately change and strengthen your online banking password at regular intervals. Try to use a unique password for different websites and systems. In addition to this, avoid accessing your bank accounts from cyber cafes or shared PCs
9. Safeguard your Debit Card and PIN: In case of a debit card loss, the bank should be alerted immediately, as any delay will lead to an increase in fraud exposure. People should be mindful that banks and banking partners never ask for Debit Card numbers, expiry date, card verification value (CVV), one-time password (OTP) or PIN number. Therefore, this information should never be shared with anyone who claims to be from your bank, RBI, the Income Tax department or other regulatory bodies
While using the ATM, never seek assistance from strangers and ensure that you cover the keypad at the time of entry of PIN at the merchant location or ATM
10. Always log out: Make sure you are logged out of your account once you are finished checking your balance, transferring funds between accounts, or paying a bill
11. Beware of phishing: Fraudsters often use phishing techniques as an attempt to obtain sensitive banking information. In this technique, fraudsters pose as a reputable authorised company via email, text message, phone call, etc. to get individuals to reveal personal information. Once the information is obtained, it can be used to access your account and steal money. Never respond to unknown entities and if you accidently reveal your bank account details, report it to the bank immediately.
With these points in mind, you can bank smartly and securely. Familiarizing oneself with such simple tips can go a long way in enjoying an easy and hassle-free digital banking experience. Happy banking!