Ten simple ways to secure your bank apps from hackers

Ten simple ways to secure your bank apps from hackers

Mobile banking is a fast and convenient way to effectively manage your time and money such as checking your account balance, making money transfer, paying bills online, and the like. In Nigeria, the rate at which phones are snatched by unscrupulous elements is on the increase daily. There are reports of phones being snatched on the road, in the car,  from people walking on the busy streets and from others who might be found using their phones in insecure places.  Securing your phone is one thing and securing your bank apps is another, as there are various tricks that can be used by fraudsters to access people’s bank information and have access to their money.  People who have been victims of bank fraud have taken to their social media to complain about accounts being emptied by fraudsters and thieves.

Saturday Sun spoke with some experts who gave tips on how people could secure their phones. They include Mr David Osajie, a computer tech and a digital marketing expert, as well as Mrs Bisiriyu Wuraola, a financial accountant. They gave ten ways through which a person can secure their bank accounts in case their phones or any other accessible gadgets are stolen.

ONE: Put a pin on your sim

The most common way people steal bank information of other people is because many people do not lock their sim. So many people do not even know it is possible to add a pin code to one’s sim. It is highly possible to do this and doing this helps prevent any and everybody from gaining access to your sim card unless you disclose it to them. Even if you lose your phone, you do not have to worry about the popular Nigeria catch phase of: “it is not the phone that is paining me, it is the sim.”

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TWO: Enable app lock

This is one advantage that android phones have over iPhone. It is easier for you to lock specific apps on your phones and secure important files or documents. Many apps enable you to create and use App-Specific-password to access them on your device. You can set an app lock on all of your bank apps and unlock them only when you want to have access to them and after inactivity on the app or when the app is closed, the lock is enabled again. This can be a stressful process because having to input password all the time you need to use an app can be quite frustrating but then it is better to be safe than be sorry.

THREE: Never disclose any of your bank information

People need to understand that no one is to be trusted and that should be enough reason to not disclose any of your personal information, much less your bank information. Not even your next of kin should know your bank details. This is a safer way to protect your account from being emptied by fraudsters. You bank pin, app lock pin and any other pin relating to your bank should not be disclosed to anybody at all. All transactions should be done and cancelled immediately so as to prevent yourself from being a victim.

FOUR: Be careful with your downloads

Not everything is as it appears to be online. You need to be vigilant when installing apps or downloading images, videos, files, songs, email attachments and so on from the internet, because some of these files might be from scammers or hackers and if you download or install without proper care, you might end up giving these intruders access to your phone and once they gain this access, your personal and bank information are no longer safe.

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FIVE: Have a unique bank app password

You should not use the same password you use for your banking log-in anywhere else: Your bank, ATM cards and other financial related accounts should each have unique passwords this is because you still need to protect your bank app(s) from people or families who know your normal phone passcodes and are likely to share with other people. So, if they try inputting your normal phone password, it won’t work and the disappointment will be on them and not you.

SIX: Make logging in to your bank app a regular routine

One of the ways to also protect your bank app from intruders is to always check your accounts everyday. Log in to your bank app every day from a very secured computer with a secured Internet connection. Checking your bank app can be quite challenging, especially during “sapa” period where there is little or no money but you still need to check for security reasons, and for days when you will eventually have enough or more than enough. Keeping tabs on this daily will allow you to easily catch any potential fraud or irregular activities going on on your account and immediately be able to report it

SEVEN: Avoid using public wifi

Everyone likes the idea of a free wifi, but not all wifi are to be connected to. Some are traps laid down for preys to become victims. Free wifi are almost everywhere you go, but you cannot be too lucky in the sense that if you click on one set by a hacker, the person might intercept files from your device.

EIGHT: Think before you click

Nigerian banks are known to send messages or emails quite often. There are the useful, the useless and the temptingly convincing. But as an individual, you need to be mindful that fraudsters are also using these tactics to get through to people. When you receive a message with a deal that is too suspicious to be true, delete immediately. And if there is a link underneath, do not click on the link, as this can be a bait, and you might end up being a victim of these fraudsters. If you receive any message or mail from a bank, whether you use it or not, you should pause for a second to read, process and analyse the message before you think of falling prey to these people.

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NINE: Make your account officer your best friend

Every person with a bank account has an account officer assigned to them. Find out who yours is and make friends with the person because your accounts will be monitored closely. And if there is an unusual attempt or practice going on in your account, you will be contacted, and if you are not the one running such activities, your account will end up being secured. No matter the amount you have in your account, your account officer is always there to help you.

TEN: Perform transactions safely

Stop being careless with your bank accounts, transactions, ATM cards etc. Also, stop showing people how much you have in your account and stop performing transactions in front of people so as to not be a target of any fraudster. If you want to perform any transaction at all on your phone, at the bank, POS stand or any ATM point, make sure you guard your account jealously and make it harder for the person sitting or standing beside you to see a single thing you are doing. This increases the rate of a protected account.


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