Tips to keep your bank accounts safe
With the recent increase in fraudulent incidents among bank transactions such as in BDO, how does one protect his own financial assets? We provide some of the simplest ways to safeguard your bank accounts from untoward incidents like these.
Block remote taps with an RFID blocker
Newer cards issued by the banks not only have magstripes and EMV chips, but also some are equipped with wireless payment schemes via RFID or NFC. In those kinds of scenarios, one could pay for something by just tapping it on the terminal to proceed with the transaction, and these normally do not require your signature to be authorized.
As such, we recommend investing in a case with an RFID blocker to prevent unauthorized contactless taps on your card. These go for as low as Php99 in various online and offline stores. Not enough cash to buy one?
Pro tip: Wrap your cards in an aluminum foil to keep it undetected.
Keep your passwords and PINs to yourself only
Your online account passwords and card PINs are the keys to everything you have in your bank accounts. NEVER give them to anyone. Likewise, replace your temporary pins immediately when you get a new card and do not use passwords that may be easily identified by you such as your birthday or a common number pattern.
If you’ll need some help remembering, it’s best to keep it at a place only you know. You may also upload it to a cloud storage site or copy to a removable storage such as a hard drive, but be sure to keep the file encrypted.
Avoid doing bank transactions on public computers
While logging online to transact financial matters have become an upward trend, many still do not realize that there may be hidden programs that track your every keystroke when you use public computers and unsafe devices. This also applies to malware found on smartphones where keyloggers are still persistent. Keep in mind to use only the gadgets that belong to you when you open financial information.
Activate your instant notifications
A cool security feature banks implement nowadays is to immediately notify you of online account logins, updates, and posted transactions via SMS and email. Contact your bank and activate them so you can track your spending as you swipe your card.
Keep your gadgets up to date
In relation to the above tip, common device or PC vulnerabilities occur when they are not updated or secured. As much as you can, update them to the most recent patches and beef up the security by installing a trusted anti-virus program.
If encryption is needed for high-volume transactions, you may check on your PC settings to enable the feature.
Never trust the phishing emails
We’ve consistently covered a lot of phishing attacks that happened to BPI credit card customers, and this does not happen with that bank alone — we’ve seen more suspected phishing attacks from perpetrators that pretend to be your local bank and wants to gather your personal information when you have given this to them in the first place.
Our recommendation is to never trust those kinds of emails. One reason is your bank will never ask for your personal information online because you already filled them up when you applied, and another is, it doesn’t take matters online as banks are strictly regulated to acquiring account details via landline or a personal visit to your bank.
Don’t forget to check the security details at the browser’s address bar. That’s the green one on the left side of the URL that states the SSL name for your own protection. Do not input card details on those that do not offer this kind of security, most especially when it’s for an online purchase.
Keep your account updated all the time
Lastly, it pays a lot to visit your bank and regularly update your details with them in case an emergency arises and to correctly verify your information once you connect to them via other channels. A few of my friends who gave details of their suspicious bank transactions have admitted that they were not able to provide their bank more recent personal information, and maybe a reason for perpetrators to use it to their advantage.
It pays to keep your accounts secure with these simple steps to ensure that it will be free from predators. Do note that if there are posted transactions that are not within your knowledge, immediately call your bank and settle it right away.
Help other account holders too! We’d love to hear more tips by sharing them at the comments section below.