Banks are regarded as custodians of our cash – institutions you trust to keep your details and your money safe and secure. But as the world has digitized, so too have criminals. Banks and fintech now fight pitched battles with cyber criminals online, with one side improving their security and the other attempting to breach digital systems to steal money. Still, as a consumer and banking customer, you have a part to play in the protection of your cash. Here are four changes you can make to your habits to better protect your banking details and your accounts.
Fintech companies are constantly being developed. Many become wildly popular, such as `Monzo and Revolut. Others raise and fall in a matter of months or even weeks. It’s these less successful neobanks that could leave you high and dry if you bank with them shortly before they collapse or cancel operations. The solution is simple: do your research before you begin engaging with financial institutions. Don’t trust flashy adverts, and look instead to established and well-trusted institutions that have a track record of security and professionalism.
Keep all of your passwords secret. Your passwords for your banking accounts shouldn’t be the same as those you use for social media or for your email account. Banking app passwords need to be the most secure in your library of passwords – something that only you could possibly know. Avoid anything that people might be able to predict, such as your date of birth or your nickname, and choose instead a relatively random assortment of letters, numbers, and punctuation. The more obscure your banking passwords, the harder they’ll be for people, including criminals, to guess.
There are several ways to prove that you’re the person who owns and runs a bank account. You can use a password-based system of verification, though that’s something that banks increasingly see as too little protection. Instead, identity verification has developed and evolved to the point at which you’ll now be asked by most banks to perform a second stage to sign in to an account. Whether that involves using biometric information, receiving a confirmation text or email, or a simple tick-box to prove that you’re a human, these measures help you better protect your banking profiles. If any of these measures are offered by your bank, do take them up.
One of the most common forms of password loss and security breach in the present world is the loss of a device. If you lose a smartphone or laptop, it’s possible for criminal hackers to find a way into your device. There, it may be possible for them to access your banking apps and withdraw your cash. There are a handful of ways in which you can protect your phone in the event that it’s lost or stolen. Use a “find my phone” app to ensure you can erase your phone remotely. Meanwhile, protect all your apps with extra layers of security, including further verification methods.
Make sure you’re keeping your personal banking details safe and secure with the four tips outlined in this article.