Introduction to Banking
Keeping A Bank Account Secure
Having learned all the above concepts, Satish also wanted to know how to keep his account secured. Just the week before, his colleague encountered a pickpocket and within minutes, substantial money was withdrawn using his ATM card. Satish did not want to face such a situation and hence wanted to know what he can do to ensure his account is safe.
The bank representative told him that security is of primary importance when it comes to bank accounts. It is essential to follow certain precautions to ensure that the customer’s money is safe. Below are a few precautionary steps that customers should follow:
- Keeping the PIN and passwords secret: This is one of the primary ways to keep an account secured. Passwords and PINs should be kept secret and never shared with anyone over email, SMS, or even verbally.
- Using a strong password: It is also important to avoid using passwords such as the customer’s own date of birth, anniversary, kid’s date of birth, etc. which are obvious to guess. Most banks require customers to use one capital letter and one special character within the password to increase the strength of the password.
- Changing passwords regularly: Another essential activity is to change passwords once every few months. This reduces the chances of hacking.
- Never sharing account information over phone or email: No bank calls or emails customers asking for confidential account details such as PINs or passwords. In case customers receive such emails or phone calls, they should become careful that someone is trying to hack the account and inform the bank immediately. Most importantly, such emails or calls should never be entertained.
- Checking the account activity regularly: Customers need to keep a track of their account so that any abnormality can be easily identified. Logging in to online banking to view recent transactions or examining the monthly statement always helps.
- Not using public networks: Customers are strongly advised not to open their net banking account using public networks. Public networks are usually unsecured and they increase the chances of hacking an account manifold.
- Using good anti-virus protection software, firewalls, and spyware blockers: It is essential to invest in good computer protection tools to reduce the vulnerability of cyber attacks and fraud attempts.
- Reporting lost cards immediately to the bank: It is most essential to report lost cards or any fraudulent activity immediately to the bank. This will help the bank to block the card immediately and prevent any transaction in the card.
- Being aware of the surroundings in ATMs: A lot of fraud happens in ATMs. It is essential to keep an eye on the people around them while customers use ATMs. If it is a single machine ATM, ideally, no one else should be inside the ATM apart from the customer himself, not even the security guard.
- Taking receipts in ATMs: People often get impatient after withdrawing the money and walk off without collecting the receipt. Sometimes, they toss the receipt in the trashcan of the ATM itself. It is essential to collect the ATM receipt and keep it safe for a day or two. The information on the receipt can be used to fraudulently access an account. Keeping the receipt will also help customers in case some issues arise regarding the debit of the cash amount.
- Shredding documents and old cheques: Any document containing customer’s personal information should always be shredded. The information can be used to access the accounts. The same goes for old cheque books.
- By not leaving blank spaces in cheques: Customers are strongly advised to not keep any blank spaces in cheques. Any blank spaces should be struck off.
Satish learned quite a lot from this visit to the bank. He signed his online banking forms and was excited to try out the portal.