Nowadays, many people are online and use internet banking as a convenient and helpful tool for making banking transactions. Online fraudsters are also on the rise and are developing complicated methods to retrieve confidential information from you, the internet user.
There are three main methods hackers use to gain access to intimate information, namely, phishing, SIM card swaps and to a lesser degree, Trojan Horses.
Phishing is by far the most common way of scamming. With this method the fraudsters send you an email that looks exactly the same as one you would get from your bank. In this email they provide you a web link and then ask you to verify your identity and banking details. Entering this sensitive information into the fake website makes it easier for them to steal from you.
SIM card cloning starts with phishing. With the stolen information hackers set up banking accounts to which money can be transferred and withdrawn. When the SIM card is cloned they will send money to beneficiaries and withdraw the money from these accounts.
Trojan Horses look like innocent programmes users can download from various websites, but are in fact developed to steal private data from computers by recording all information that users enter into their browser, including banking details.
It all sounds scary but there are definitely ways to protect yourself from scammers. Here are some tips to keep your personal information safe:
- Download the latest banking apps from the official websites because these apps will have built-in security mechanisms.
- Be careful with internet hotspots or free Wi-Fi. Rather turn on your 3G while using banking apps in these places.
- Change your login information regularly and don’t write your details down or provide them to anyone. Also try to use passwords that have a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
- Remember that no bank will ever ask you to confirm or update account details via e-mail, SMS or telephone. And if you get an e-mail, don’t open attachments or click on links.
- Keep antivirus software and patches up-to-date.
- Check your cell phone’s network connectivity status. If you realise you are not receiving any calls or SMS notifications, something may be wrong. Make the necessary inquiries.
It is very important to be aware of what you are doing while using banking apps and protecting your confidential information online. Be alert, keep up-to-date with the latest scam methods, and be sure share information about any possible scams with your colleagues, friends and family.
You can protect your personal information if you’re active on various social networks too.
Written by Joris van Zoggel, International Marketing Intern at Who’s Who.