Dig­i­tal bank­ing is fast, easy and, best of all, there’s no need to queue at the bank! The only con­cern is keep­ing your cash safe. Here are some tips to pro­tect your trans­ac­tions from cy­ber fraud.


Valu­able tips on how to safely trans­act on­line

We live in an era when ev­ery­one is glued to their dig­i­tal de­vices, whether it’s for work, on­line shop­ping, mo­bile bank­ing or so­cial me­dia. But tech­nol­ogy, like most things that sim­plify our lives, comes with its own set of dis­ad­van­tages. In this case, it puts you at risk of cy­ber­crimes like data hack­ing or cy­ber fraud – which is why it has be­come ever more im­por­tant to pro­tect your hard-earned money.

We keep our homes and cars safe by tak­ing pre­cau­tions and putting se­cu­rity sys­tems in place; your de­vice should be han­dled in the same way to pro­tect all your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, as that can be used to ac­cess your ac­counts. This is why smart dig­i­tal de­vices en­able us to cod­ify our pass­words with fin­ger­prints and in­tri­cate pat­terns. But while these se­cu­rity mea­sures of­fer some peace of mind, they aren’t nec­es­sar­ily enough to pre­vent hack­ers from ac­cess­ing your bank­ing in­for­ma­tion.

In ad­di­tion to all the stan­dard se­cu­rity mea­sures, here are some tips to help you safe­guard your trans­ac­tions – one less thing to worry about, so you can fo­cus on the busi­ness of liv­ing your life.


1 Avoid us­ing Wi-Fi hotspots to per­form trans­ac­tions

Mak­ing use of free Wi-Fi is tempt­ing, but if you share a net­work, there is the pos­si­bil­ity that in­for­ma­tion can be in­ter­cepted. En­sure you only trans­act on trusted net­works.

2 Make sure you aren’t on a spoof site by click­ing the se­cu­rity icon on your browser tool­bar

(the lock icon to the left of the URL) and check­ing that the URL be­gins with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’. Never ac­cess your bank­ing site by click­ing links, and don’t en­ter bank­ing cre­den­tials af­ter click­ing a link. In­stead, use the browser to go to your bank­ing web­site by en­ter­ing your bank’s ad­dress in the ad­dress bar.

3 En­sure that the de­vice you use for in­ter­net or mo­bile bank­ing has the lat­est ver­sion of an­tivirus and an­ti­spy­ware soft­ware in­stalled,

and is from a rep­utable ven­dor. You need to keep up to date: hack­ers and se­cu­rity soft­ware are of­ten neck and neck in terms of what they’re able to do – it just makes sense to keep your se­cu­rity cur­rent.

4 Mem­o­rise your PIN and pass­words.

Never write them down or share them, not even with a bank of­fi­cial. You need to be sus­pi­cious of a bank of­fi­cial if they ask you to share your pass­word or PIN. Le­git­i­mate con­sul­tants won’t ask you for such con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion.

5 Choose an un­usual PIN and pass­word that are hard to guess, and change them of­ten.

Try us­ing lines from your favourite songs: just use the first let­ter of ev­ery word. It means you have lots of op­tions – and makes it very dif­fi­cult for any­one else to guess.

6 If you sud­denly lose re­cep­tion on your cell­phone for no rea­son, con­tact your ser­vice provider im­me­di­ately

to con­firm that there hasn’t been an il­le­gal SIM swop on your num­ber. No­tify your bank im­me­di­ately if your SIM has been swopped. Be vig­i­lant, and act im­me­di­ately.

7 Regis­ter for your bank’s cell­phone no­ti­fi­ca­tion ser­vice to re­ceive elec­tronic mes­sages re­lat­ing to ac­tiv­ity or trans­ac­tions on your ac­counts as they oc­cur.

This is a great se­cu­rity mea­sure, and even though you pay for the ser­vice, the se­cu­rity it of­fers far out­weighs the cost: it means you know ex­actly what’s hap­pen­ing on your ac­count at any given time and can take ac­tion quickly if nec­es­sary.

8 Do not use pub­lic or shared com­put­ers

at li­braries, in­ter­net cafés, res­tau­rants and ho­tels to trans­act on or to ac­cess sen­si­tive data.

9 Don’t send emails that con­tain in­for­ma­tion like your card num­ber and ex­piry date.

There are many other ways to pay for some­thing on­line. You should never need to send this sort of in­for­ma­tion in an email, which can be in­ter­cepted.

10 Don’t ever click on sus­pi­cious links as your de­vice could be in­fected with viruses, spy­ware and Tro­jans.

These links are de­signed to pique your in­ter­est. But don’t take the bait: the re­sults can be dis­as­trous.

11 Never click on a link to take you to your bank’s web­site.

Al­ways log on to your bank’s site by typ­ing in the web ad­dress your­self. The links can be con­vinc­ing, and could take you to a land­ing page that’s just as con­vinc­ing – but to­tally fake. And al­ways check for the lock icon and the ‘https’ in the ad­dress! ✤

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