Banks and online transactions have made it very easy to trust mobile applications so much that people don’t know hackers can steal their information.
According to a survey, about a 97percent of bank customers in this 21st-century use bank apps to manage their accounts.
Cybercriminals are also looking for ways to break in and steal users’ funds through malicious methods.
When creating our bank profiles, we must use strong passwords or a two-factor authentication system to reduce the threat to our information.
We should make sure the passwords consist of symbols, letters and numbers; this would make it hard to guess.
Also, two-factor authentication gives the user two means of identification to log into the account.
Most websites or apps use this method to secure the user’s details.
Ways Cybercriminals can Hack our Account
- Using weak passwords – Using weak passwords will always make your account prone to attack, as hackers can easily guess or crack your password. That’s why most browsers suggest that you use passwords containing a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
- Inputting credit card information into unsecured websites – When we input our credit card information into websites without knowing that the website is vulnerable to attacks, we compromise the safety of our bank account.
- Fraudulent Website – Most people need to recognize or even know the difference between secured and unsecured websites. You can look into this article to get more insights.
- Making use of public WI-FI networks – Most people are unaware of this and thus are always prone to cyber-attacks. Hackers use public networks to access information on people’s devices using unique technologies that intercept and spy on the data/information we pass across.
Hackers can open a Wi-Fi network without a password, and victims would connect to it without knowing that the hacker is somewhere monitoring or recording every piece of information that goes through that network. Imagine logging into your bank app with that network.
You have successfully given out your information to the hacker.
- Sharing private information over the phone – call from a fraudster pretending to be your bank, using malicious means to trick you into giving important bank details like your debit card number, ATM pin, SSN or even your date of birth.
Just make sure you don’t share your information with anyone.
- Sharing bank information on social media groups – hackers create cloned bank pages. Then these fraudsters send customer care messages to people demanding their data for a promise of a quick response and solution. However convincing they seem to be, keep your information private.
- SIM Swapping – Getting SMS authentication codes or OTP is a big problem for hackers, so they devise ways of dodging these procedures.
For a hacker to perform a SIM swap, they contact your service provider claiming to be you and stating that they lost their old number and would want a transfer of the old number, which is your current number, to their own SIM card. If they can get this done, the service provider strips your number and installs it in the hacker’s SIM card.
Once they have this number, they can always request bank codes sent to them and used to log in to your account and then take your money.
How to avoid getting Hacked
- Download verified applications from trusted sources such as the Apple App store or Google play store. Trojans are attached to apps and can be a source for hackers to invade and steal your information, But they can only get to us when we download infected apps. Play store or app store helps us to fight this by scanning apps in their storage for viruses and removing the app instantly.
- Make use of multi-factor authentication – Multi-factor authentication prompts users to provide two or more means of identification for them to be able to log into their accounts.
- Ensure the website you’re sharing your information with is secured – When transacting using a website, check to ensure it is connected and not a clone website set up by hackers.
Check if there are any alternations to the website’s name; the URL should begin with HTTPS instead of HTTP, as HTTP is not secured.
- Don’t use weak or easy-to-guess passwords – Make sure you do not choose easy passwords because you feel it is easier to remember; hackers tend to guess them easily. Use long passwords, or better still, make sure it combines numbers, symbols and letters.
- Monitor your alerts through your email, text message or bank app – Most people are unaware of a hack on their account until they visit the bank to collect their bank statements. And due to some excuses, some people rarely see the bank. Because of this, the hackers have enough time to operate on the account without the owner knowing. With alerts, you can easily monitor and detect any unusual activity on your account and quickly go to the bank for rectification.
- Avoid sending financial information via email – Email messages are not encrypted. Hackers can intercept some of these emails. So therefore, disregard anything that would make you send personal and financial information via email.
- Beware of spam emails that request your personal information – Some fraudsters who pretend to be bank officials may request your card information or other details from you. Never send your data using emails; instead, go to the bank and find out from there. These spam emails come from commercial, bank or promotional emails. They request personal information unknown to you and may give them access to your account. They can get this information by telling you to create an account on a website or using a link to redirect you to the signup page of a particular website.
- Phishing – Hackers claim to be an agency or financial institution by putting on a fake identity and then luring their victims using attractive offers or threats (e.g. automatic blocking if a particular data is not provided or updated immediately) from a company or site.
They are accompanied by a link that takes the victim to a fake site. On the site, the hackers unconsciously make the victim give out private information such as credit card numbers or bank account information.
Verify the email of the sender, organization, and website to which you’re being redirected.
- Keep your details private – Many websites, apps or service providers request personal information or identification to confirm if the person trying to perform a particular action is who they say they are. So these hackers need to harvest your data to pass these security checks.
- Always keep your details private to avoid someone stealing your identity.
Hackers have numerous means of stealing information. You always have to be watchful when sending financial information over the internet. You can also change your passwords regularly to prevent hackers from guessing them.