If you notice any strange or unusual activity on your bank statement, notify your bank immediately.
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
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
Ensure your account is not vulnerable
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
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
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
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
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
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