The past several months have seen a surge in online banking activities.
With the public asked to limit the time they spend outdoors, most people turned to various undertakings that could be done indoors, such as shopping, working, and bank transactions, including paying bills and transferring money.
Since online banking can help you keep safe during pandemics and other emergencies and offers several advantages, you may want to consider taking advantage of this convenient service.
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Opening or setting up an online bank account in the UAE allows you to experience the benefits of this handy banking feature. With a few clicks on your keyboard or taps on your mobile device, you can carry out various transactions wherever you are and within seconds, without waiting in long queues.
Making Safe Online Banking Transactions
Although online banking gives you plenty of perks, you have to know that it comes with a few risks, too. They come in the form of different types of cyber threats.
Identity thefts, phishing scams, and pharming are the most common risks that people who use online banking services should be aware of. These bank frauds can cause you to lose your hard-earned savings.
Moreover, cybercriminals may target your credit card and other funds by using the details they got from your bank account.
However, you don’t have to forgo the benefits of online banking due to these cyberthreats. There are simple ways to protect your bank account to continue enjoying these conveniences.
These tips and techniques include:
1. Create Different Passwords for All Your Online Accounts.
Due to their technology and ingenuity, hackers can access any information online. These include your passwords.
To protect this sensitive information, avoid using the same passwords for all your online accounts and activities.
This means having different passwords for your email, social media accounts, personal bank and credit card account profiles.
If you have similar passwords for these accounts, if any one of them is hacked, hackers may use the same login details and gain access to your bank funds and credit card.
To make it harder for cybercriminals to hack your accounts, always use different passwords. Change them every two to three months as well.
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2. Think of Highly Imaginative, Strong Passwords for Each Account.
The more unique and novel your passwords are, the more difficult it is for hackers to guess them.
Avoid using passwords with your birthdate, child’s, or mother’s maiden name since hackers can obtain or guess them based on your social media profiles and posts. Always think of unique ones and don’t stop creating it until it is deemed strong.
Be imaginative when creating your passwords. Use combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols and arrange them creatively so that you can still remember them.
If you think you will be confused by these different passwords, use a password manager app to ensure you use the right one for each account.
3. Never Share Your Password with Anyone.
No matter how much you want to loan money to a friend or give in to a pushy call centre representative, never divulge your password.
Even if you trust someone completely, like a family or friend, do not give out your bank account password. There is always the chance that they could share this highly sensitive information with an unscrupulous person.
Also, never tell a stranger your password by phone, email, or chat, even if they tell you they are working for your bank. There have been many instances where scammers get all the information they need by pretending to be representatives of the institution.
Keep in mind that no legitimate company will ask you to tell them your password. As such, do not be fooled into giving it easily.
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4. Watch Out for Smishing.
Aside from phone scams and phishing, smishing is another online banking scam you should be wary of.
Smishing happens when you get a doubtful text message from a scammer posing as a bank representative.
The message usually informs the recipient of a security breach and asks them to call a toll-free number. During the call, they will then be asked for their account number and login details or PIN.
Once they have the information, a scammer will log into the bank account.
If you receive this kind of text, do not call the number in the message. Instead, contact the customer service number on your monthly bank statement or the website and confirm the validity of the notification.
5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication.
Multi-factor authentication or MFA is a feature that ensures that a user is who they say they are by requiring that they give at least two pieces of evidence to prove their identity.
This evidence must come from different categories like something you know or something you have.
These include a password, passcode, and fingerprint or facial scan to confirm that only you can access your accounts.
In addition, you will also receive a one-time PIN or code to your mobile phone to type in before you can open your account.
By using this feature, you give your data an extra layer of protection. You, therefore, make it harder for scammers to hack your sensitive information.
6. Use All Available Security Features.
The websites and apps of banks also have features that give users an additional layer of protection.
Examples of these are the lock and unlock buttons and setting daily, weekly, or monthly withdrawal and transaction limits.
These security features reduce your risk of being victimised by online scammers.
Also, turn on the email and app notifications since most banks can detect counterfeit transactions and notify you about it. Doing so allows you to know immediately if your account is being hacked so you can get in touch with people who can help you.
You can also find out from your bank representatives what personalised financial services you can get for protecting your account.
Lastly, when accessing your bank account, avoid using a public or unsecured network. If you need to do this while you are out, use your mobile data, which is the safer option.
7. Review Your Bank Statements Frequently.
Whether you are receiving online or paper bank statements, don’t leave them unread once you get them. Open them and go over all the entries carefully.
Contact your bank if you don’t recall making any transaction listed on the bank statement.
If you receive bank statements by email, make sure they do not go to your Spam folder so that you can see and read them and that they do not get deleted.
A simple tip you can try is saving the email address of your bank so that their messages won’t be categorised as Spam. With these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of online banking and keep your money and sensitive information safe from hackers and scammers.