Protect Your Online Banking Accounts With These Tips!

Protect Your Online Banking Accounts With These Tips!

Cybercrime is a major concern for everyone, from established international corporations to day-to-day people who use the internet. With so many high-profile breaches in the last decade, the threat is as evident as it is persistent. Furthermore, the pandemic didn’t just contribute to a greater reliance on digital media, but it also gave rise to even more online fraud and scams. 

In 2021 alone, losses due to banking fraud climbed to PHP1 billion due to unauthorized transfers and withdrawals. It was three times higher than the figures in 2019. 

According to FICO research, despite the strong presence of digital banking in the country at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 67 percent of Filipinos believe in the importance of security authentication such as biometrics, one-time passwords (OTP), and two-factor authentication to make them stay or switch to a different bank.

When it comes to security, there’s no such thing as too much of it – especially nowadays when hackers and fraudsters come equipped with more tools to easily deceive unsuspecting victims.

1. Never disclose your private information

It may seem like no big deal to us Filipinos, but in the age of the internet, our personal information works like keys to our bank accounts. Never disclose any personal information that has ties to your bank accounts such as the following: 

  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Bank account number
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Email address

2. Learn how to determine phishing emails 

Phishing is a fraudulent practice where an entity or a person attempts to obtain information (e.g., usernames, passwords, credit card details, Bank account numbers, ATM PIN, etc.) from you by pretending to represent a reputable company. Usually, these emails will ask you to update your information through a link or form attached to their email. 

How to do this?

  1. Check that you logged on to the correct and secure website or app. Be wary of “look-alike” websites or applications that are meant to fool users by mimicking the appearance of legal online banking platforms or even verified social networking profiles.
  2. Double-check the website before engaging in any online transaction. The URL should begin with “https” and has a closed padlock icon in the browser’s status bar.
  3. Instead of clicking a link in the email, type the website link of your bank instead. DON’T TYPE THE WEBSITE YOU SEE IN THE EMAIL.
  4. Download the official app for mobile banking exclusively from the official Apple or Google Play stores. Check that you are not downloading a clone with a poor rating and an unverified creator.

 3. Keep your PIN and log-in credentials private

When checking in with your ID and password, remember to never reveal your login ID and password.

  1. Use a password that is not your birthdate or one that you commonly use for other online accounts.
  2. Update your password on a regular basis with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, and special characters.
  3. Never give out your PIN or the security codes for your debit and credit cards by email or phone.

4. Make use of two-factor authentication

Hackers are always looking for new ways to access your personal information. Don’t rest easy just because no one else is looking at your screen when entering your username and PIN or password. Add another layer of security by opting for two-factor authentication. This guarantees that you receive a text notification through your nominated mobile phone number or email that contains a one-time password. This OTP will be required to successfully log in to your online bank account. In other words, access is only granted after you have personally acknowledged and authenticated the use of your username and password. 

  1. Head into the Login and Security settings of your banking app. 
  2. Find the two-factor authentication settings and enable One-Time Passwords.
  3. Tweak your OTP preferences – users have the liberty to require an OTP based on the nature of the transaction. For example, you can enforce an OTP for Fund Transfers and not require it for Bills Payment, and then require it for Online Purchases. That is up to personal preference.
  4. Aside from requiring an OTP before logging in and for various transactions, fingerprint scanning is another form of two-factor authentication that is also available on the two-factor authentication settings. You can mix, match, and go deep as you wish in service of protecting your online banking account.

5. Review your transactions daily

You can never rule out the possibility that someone might have already stolen your banking information. Make it a habit to review your transactions on a regular basis.

Why is this crucial?

  1. This helps you become aware of any fraudulent activities.
  2. You can immediately inform the bank about putting a hold on your account or cutting off a credit card that you suspect is being used by a fraudster.
  3. At the very least this prevents further damage from taking place.
  4. You can begin adding more security parameters for a safer experience moving forward.

The reversal of a fraudulent transaction is always preferred, but we don’t always get what we want. It’s always going to be dependent on how long it took before you informed the bank about the situation and how the transaction took place, such as if someone actually handed over your debit or credit card to a store clerk or if it was performed online. These things do weigh in among other factors.

Keeping track of financial transactions through a secure banking app is something that can never be underscored enough. 

6. Always log out

There are people who fall victim to the unauthorized use of their debit and credit accounts due to the failure of logging out of banking apps. Be sure to always log out of all places where you access your bank account, be it through your web browser and/or mobile devices.

Another important thing you should remember is to NEVER put a check on that “Save Password” or “Remember Me” option. This rule applies even if you exclusively access your financial apps through your own computer and mobile devices. The goal is to mitigate the risk of undetected malware from feeding private information into the hands of malicious individuals. Additionally, consider clearing your browser cache after each session.

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