Practical Strategies to Secure Your Online Banking and Prevent Financial Theft

Since the invention of the internet, many things have changed, including how we bank and access our accounts. In today’s digital age, the traditional method of physically visiting a bank to make deposits and withdrawals has been replaced by the convenience of mobile banking. With the ability to deposit checks by simply taking a picture with our phones, banking has become more accessible and user-friendly than ever before. As a result, approximately 73% of people worldwide use online banking monthly for its unprecedented convenience.

However, this convenience comes at a cost. Account takeover fraud increased by 90% in 2021, while new account fraud rose by a staggering 109%. As online banking has grown easier, banking-related cybercrime has also increased. While a breached Facebook account can be a nuisance, a breached bank account can be devastating. But, if a hacker accesses your bank account, it can be disastrous, leading to significant losses that your financial institution may not be able to recover.

This article will examine the common mistakes people make that put their accounts at risk and provide crucial tips on better protecting your bank account.

Mistakes That Allow Criminals to Access Your Account

Not Enabling Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a straightforward process that provides significant security benefits. Enabling this setting in your online accounts requires an additional step to gain access, usually involving receiving a one-time passcode (OTP) via SMS and entering it at login.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of leaving this feature disabled, either because they are unaware of its existence or believe it to be too inconvenient. However, disabling this setting can make it easier for attackers to breach your account.

Falling for a Phishing Scam

Online banking is a prime target for various phishing scams perpetrated by cybercriminals. They often send emails that appear to come from your bank and entice you with meagre credit card rates.

Another standard scheme involves warning you of unauthorised account activity and urging you to log in by clicking on a link. However, the link leads to a fake page designed to resemble your bank’s legitimate website.

These are just two examples of how scammers can obtain online banking login details. Once they have your information, they act quickly to exploit it for their gain.

Using Easy-to-Guess Passwords

Weak passwords are easy to guess, making them a common mistake that enables many cyber criminals.

Some best practices for passwords include:

  • Make them at least ten characters long
  • Include at least one number
  • Include at least one symbol
  • Include at least one upper-case letter
  • Please don’t make them personal (e.g., don’t use your birthdate, etc.)

Downloading Unsafe Mobile Apps

Banking trojans are frequently concealed within malicious mobile applications. These apps may appear harmless, such as a task manager, but once installed, they can scour your device for any sensitive information they can find. They specifically target banking and wallet applications seeking access to your financial details.

Logging Into Online Banking While on Public Wi-Fi

A significant security risk is logging into your online banking account while using public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals frequently lurk on public hotspots, monitoring the activity of unsuspecting users. It’s crucial to avoid typing in your password or other sensitive information while connected to public Wi-Fi to prevent giving away your online banking credentials.

Tips for Improving Online Banking Security

Turn On Two-Factor Authentication

Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication or two-step verification, is highly recommended for your online banking account. According to Microsoft, this security feature can block 99.9% of fraudulent account login attempts, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorised access to your account.

Set Up Banking Alerts

When an intruder breaches your online banking account, time is of the essence. The sooner you inform your bank of the breach, the better. Swift action can help limit the breach’s impact by locking down your account immediately.

To stay informed about your account activity, set up banking alerts through your online banking. These alerts can notify you of important events such as low balance or login attempts, enabling you to take prompt action if any unauthorised activity occurs.

Install an Antivirus & DNS Filtering On Your PC & Mobile Device

Protecting your PC and mobile devices with reliable antivirus software is crucial for online security. While many people overlook the need to safeguard their phones, they still use them for online shopping and banking.

In addition to antivirus software, using a DNS filter is also advisable. A DNS filter blocks access to dangerous phishing sites, preventing you from inadvertently visiting them and becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Take Phishing Training

Staying informed about the latest phishing scams and being able to identify them is crucial in protecting yourself from cybercrime. One way to increase your phishing awareness is by taking online classes, many of which are free. Additionally, you can contact us for personalised training options to further enhance your cybersecurity skills.

By learning how to spot phishing attempts via text, email, and phone, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to scams and better protect yourself from falling victim to cybercrime.

Get Help Protecting Your Family from Scams

Qamba offers several effective digital solutions to help protect your family from online threats. To learn more about our online security services, please don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a consultation today. We can discuss the best options for your needs and help ensure your business’s online activities are secure and safe.

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