Online banking has made it easy to access account information and perform transactions, making people trust mobile applications so much that they don’t know hackers can steal their data if precautions are not in place.
According to a survey, about a 97percent of bank customers in this 21st century use bank apps to manage their accounts. Although as more people make use of it, cybercriminals are also looking for ways to hack your account.
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, as 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 these methods to secure the user’s details.
Ways CyberCriminals Hack Accounts
- 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. Also, most people need to recognize or even see 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 information that goes through that network.
- Sharing private information over the phone — Fraudster pretending to be your bank, using various means to trick you into giving them essential bank details like your debit card number, ATM pin or even your date of birth. Keep your information private from everyone over the phone.
- Sharing bank information on social media groups — Users must verify social media pages before using them to connect with your banks;
Fraudsters can also clone these groups, and then these fraudsters send customer care messages to people demanding their information for a promise of 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. It is called SIM swapping.
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.
A token is sent to the users to verify their password, making it hard for hackers to get in using just passwords.
- Make sure the website you’re sharing your information with is secured.
When transacting using a website, check to ensure it is secured and not a clone website set up by hackers.
Check for alternations to the website’s name; the URL should begin with HTTPS instead of HTTP.
- 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 aware of a hack on their account once they visit the bank to collect their bank statements. And due to some excuses, some people rarely visit the bank.
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 highly encrypted. Refrain from considering anything that would make you send personal and financial information via email unless you are sure your connection is secured.
- Beware of spam emails that request your personal information.
Some emails from 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 mail. 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.
It is a method where hackers claim to be an agency or financial institution by putting on a fake identity and then luring their victims using attractive offers like winning prize money or threats ( from a company or site.
It is usually 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.
You can defend yourself from this by verifying the email’s sender, organization, and website.
- 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, and 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.