Cyberattacks on banks happen every day but not to worry, most banks are well protected against hackers. A threat of a cyberattack should not deter you from using a financial institution.
But in the case your account has been hacked...
Signs you’ve been hacked
Strange purchases that appear on your bank statement may be the first clue that a hacker has infiltrated your account. Always read credit card and bank statements, paying close attention to match the transactions to your activity.
Sometimes, you’ll notice seemingly small, yet unfamiliar purchases. Thieves often do that to test if your card will work before making larger purchases.
Depending on your bank, it will notify you of suspicious activity and automatically cancel fraudulent charges and issue you a new card.
Lost or stolen card numbers
If you realise your card has been lost or stolen, contact your bank right away. Don’t wait for your bank to notify you of fraudulent activity.
Once you notify your bank of you missing card, it will freeze your account, blocking any purchases or payments. You can either visit a local branch for a temporary card or wait for a new card to come in the mail.
If any unauthorised purchases are made, most banks will refund you the lost money.
You don’t need to panic unnecessarily over the safety of your bank account. Here’s why your bank accounts are safe from hackers:
Banks are liable
If a hacker steals money from a bank, the customer won’t lose money; the bank is liable to pay the money back to the customer. Banks are improving security. Since banks are constantly under attack, they need to improve every aspect of their security so they have the latest software designed to protect you and your money. Every attack doesn’t make the news, but generally the big ones do. Banks are constantly improving their systems for detecting and dealing with these problems.
Most banking websites allow you to activate a feature called “remember your password” when you log in via the Internet. This allows you to skip several layers of security the next time you log in since the bank recognises your computer’s IPv4 address — a unique identifier for each Internet connection.
Malware is a tool that hackers use to imitate your IPv4 address so they can gain access to your bank account. Often you don’t even know that they have control over your bank account. Therefore, it’s best to disable the “remember your computer” feature.
Steps to staying safe while banking
According to banking experts, here are some steps to help keep your banking transaction safe.
Keep your passwords and pins safe
That means not giving them out to anyone, including family or friends or anyone soliciting them over email. Also try not to write them down.
Check for site security
Most legitimate sites will have privacy and security terms that you can review. Secure URLs start with https — not http.
Avoid public networks for banking
That means no quick peeks at your finances while you’re out shopping or working. Using public networks can compromise your personal security and put your information at risk.
Don’t give your contact info to strangers
Confirm who is calling or writing first before providing any information.
Don’t necessarily answer security questions honestly
The name of your first pet won’t be verified, so you can choose a different word. Just make sure that whatever you use is memorable to avoid being locked out of your account.
Use more characters and symbols in your password
The more characters in your password the better. Random letters interspersed with numbers and special characters will take much longer for software to crack than a simple series of numbers. Likewise, the same random assortment will make it harder for someone to simply guess your password.
Listen to your gut
Remember that your intuition is a quick series of patterns recognised by your subconscious. If your gut tells you something is off, it truly could be.
Report suspicious activity
Report any suspicious people or unverifiable companies soliciting your banking information. You may also want to contact your bank.
Run antivirus and anti-malware software
Doing so could end up preventing computer viruses and losing your information.
Double-check your transactions
Look over your statements for any fraudulent purchases, and report anything suspicious right away.
By The Punch's Oyetunji Abioye
About Article Author