It is not hard to notice the increase in bank fraud over recent years, especially with advances in technology and the use of cyber-attacks to gain access to individuals’ personal information and bank accounts. According to an article on www.equities.com, Toby Nwazor states that, “Although banks have been able to stop $17 billion fraud attempts, banks still have a lot to do to get serious about tackling the problem.” In the meantime, you can take precautions to protect yourself and your personal banking information by following these 5 easy steps:
1. Vary Your Passwords
There are two things hackers need to access your bank account; your username and/or email address, and your password. THAT’S IT. You may think your password is difficult and up to par, but when you use that same password for ever single account you log in to (not just your bank account), that will open you up to hackers having the ability to access every single one of your accounts using ONE PASSWORD! Vary your passwords between sites and change them often.
2. Stay Away from Public Wi-Fi Networks
Hackers use public access Wi-Fi networks to prey on unsuspecting users who soak up some free internet. While connected, you log in to your mobile bank account app, and just like that, your log in information is compromised.
3. DO NOT Click on Links/Log In Through Emails Sent From “Your Bank”
Have you ever gotten an email regarding your bank account with Bank of America, or Wells Fargo, or countless other banks, and think, “That’s weird. I don’t have a Bank of America account.” Precisely. You may not have a Bank of America account, but millions of others do. If hackers can get anyone to click on their link to deal with an “issue” with their account, and log in credentials are used, they now have access to usernames and passwords, and can access bank accounts from the REAL bank website. If you are ever unsure, go to the actual bank website and log in yourself to see any alerts. NEVER let an email prompt you to do so!
4. Protect Your Phone
If you use mobile banking apps, make sure you don’t leave your phone unguarded. Keep it in safe places to avoid theft, and make sure you use a passcode that only you are aware of.
5. Monitor Your Accounts Frequently
If you aren’t already doing so, make it a habit to check your bank accounts daily. This will ensure you will be aware of any fraudulent charges made without your knowledge, and alert you of possible hacker activity.
With growth in technology and the convenience it creates, we are all open to new and harmful tactics used by hackers to steal our hard-earned money. ICU Investigations wants you to stay proactive and take matters into your own hands by adopting practices that will help keep your personal information safe!