Banking has become increasingly digital. Simple services like money transfers and bill payments can now be done at the click of a button. But, this demands increasing security, as digital platforms are vulnerable to hacking. This article will examine how safe online banking is and the personal steps to take to make it secure.
Online And Mobile Banking Security Considerations
It’s necessary for every online business banking platform to be secure, and these are the main things to consider regarding security:
What details do you need to provide to log into your account? A good banking platform should support two-factor authentication, which requires two modes of identification before granting account access. The first is your username and password; the second is a one-time pin sent to your phone or email address.
A safe banking platform should encrypt all sensitive user information. Passwords should never be stored in plain text but instead in hashes. The web platform must be encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to prevent hackers from intercepting information in transit.
3. Account Management
Setting up a new payee on your account should require verification, e.g., inputting your PIN. The platform should also alert your email address whenever a new payee is added to your account. This will prevent malicious actors from withdrawing money even if they somehow get access to your account.
Your platform should send you SMS or email notifications immediately after any transaction on your account. This allows you to confirm the transaction and immediately report any one you find suspicious.
What Is Strong Customer Authentication?
Strong customer authentication (SCA) is a European Union (EU) law that requires payment service providers to use strong authentication whenever a user does specific things, including:
- Access their account online
- Initiate a transaction
- Takes any action that carries a risk of fraud
This law applies to all banking providers within the European Economic Area. If you reside in this area, ensure your banking provider abides by it.
What Is Confirmation Of Payee?
Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is a name-checking service that ensures payments aren’t sent to the wrong bank accounts and prevents fraud. It was introduced by U.K. regulators in 2020, and the six largest banking groups were required to implement it. Other banks are gradually picking it up, and it’s expected to reach 400 other banks by 2024.
With CoP in place, your bank will always check if the recipient’s name matches the name at the receiving bank. If not, it’ll give you a warning. If you wish, you can bypass the warning, but you do that at your own risk.
Is Mobile Banking Safe?
Yes, mobile banking is safe if done correctly. The biggest threat to mobile banking safety comes from compromised devices. If your phone is lost or stolen, someone can use it to attempt to transfer money out of your account. However, you can mitigate this risk by enabling ‘Find My Device’ on Android or ‘Find My iPhone’ to track lost devices and remotely wipe data.
Phone Scams – Is It Really Your Bank Calling?
Telephone fraud is common in digital banking. Fraudsters try to contact unsuspecting victims and trick them into giving up their banking details. They’ll usually say that your account has been compromised and you must reveal your details to secure it, but they’re lying.
Note that your bank will never tell you to reveal sensitive information over the phone. They can call you to clarify issues, but they’ll never request a password, PIN, or any other sensitive detail over the phone.
What To Do If You’re A Victim Of Bank Fraud?
If you spot any suspicious activity on your account, contact your bank’s customer support line immediately. Explain your issue, and they’ll tell you how they can help. Banks are legally required to refund unauthorized transactions unless they prove you were grossly negligent or acted fraudulently. If you need to lock down the account for some time, your bank’s support staff can tell you how to go about that.
Online banks are generally safe for individuals and businesses. The key is to take some personal steps to protect your account, which we’ve mentioned. You should note the common ways fraudsters attempt to trick account owners and always be alert to avoid falling victim.