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Cybersafe August 10, 2022

Protecting your online banking credentials

Online banking has become very popular today given how convenient it is to settle our bills and send money to other people. While there are so many benefits to this, there are other things we need to consider if we want to have a safe banking experience.

For example, cybercriminals are getting more aggressive as more people are conducting financial transactions through their mobile devices. You may have heard about phishing scams and what to do to protect yourself from them, but these are not the only ways cybercriminals can harm you.

Here are the other ways cybercriminals are using to try to get your banking information so that they can hack into your bank accounts and steal your hard-earned savings.

  • Malware and spyware

Online browsing can be fun or productive depending on the task on hand. Nowadays, there is a program or process that can simplify the most complicated of operations. 

While it is amazing how many programs are available for download and how easy it is to get them, you should only download programs from reputable companies. This is because pirated software and programs from unknown companies could contain malware and spyware that would steal your personal information, such as credit card data and banking passwords, once these programs are downloaded into your devices.

Aside from being more careful where you should download a program, you can effectively vet everything you are downloading through an antivirus program. This program can detect malware and other computer viruses, thus preventing the file which has these viruses from being downloaded into your device.

  • Public WiFi hotspots

People always look for ways to stay connected and as such, many establishments offer free public WiFi for you to browse on social media or even do your work. You may even be tempted to go online shopping and pay using your credit card while relaxing at a coffee shop

People should know that there are risks of using a WiFi hotspot in a public place. This is because cybercriminals can exploit the public WiFi network by hacking into a router, for example. When that happens, any data that enters into the public WiFi network can be seen by the hacker. For example, if you enter your credit card details while shopping online, a cybercriminal who has hacked into the network would already know how to access your bank accounts.

This is why you should refrain from using public WiFi hotspots as much as possible to do your online shopping and financial transactions even if they are convenient. However, should you really need to use them, stick to plain online surfing and if really necessary, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to block cybercriminals’ attempts to steal your data.


  • Digital skimming

You may have heard about ATM skimming, and why it is recommended to only use your credit or debit cards at trusted establishments. However, did you also know that skimming can take place online too?

Digital skimming happens when a cybercriminal installs malware in an e-commerce website. Once that malware is installed, cybercriminals will then be able to view banking information that was placed when one pays online.

To prevent this scam from taking place, it is important for establishments to ensure their security systems are up to date. Just like other computer viruses, malware can be installed and go unnoticed whenever an antivirus program is outdated. Consumers should refrain from inputting their banking information in less trustworthy e-commerce sites.

These are some examples of scams that are taking place in order to steal your online banking credentials. While they may be frightening to deal with initially, these scams and the cybercriminals perpetuating them can be defeated if we know what to do.

As people say: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. In this instance, one of our best ways to protect ourselves against cybercriminals is to ensure our data does not end up in the hands of unknown bad actors.