Fraudulent bank account access is a fast-growing crime in developed societies. Fortunately, there are a number of well-established methods for keeping a bank account secure.
1. Keep Passwords and PIN Numbers Safe
Every online bank account should have a strong, hard-to-guess password. Instead of relying on password saving, account holders should memorize their bank passwords. Ideally, no password will contain any common words or phrases. Passwords should never contain birthdays or other dates. However convenient it might be, one should never share PINs or passwords, not even with close friends or family members. Never give out a PIN to a live person on the other end of a phone call. These days, most financial institutions will only ask for PINs to be entered into an automated system. Only use two-step authentication (TSA) if comfortable with the technical steps involved. Otherwise, TSA might actually make it harder to access the account.
Fortunately, banks generally require passwords to contain a good mix of letters, numerals and symbols. However, one doesn’t have to stick to the bank’s minimum password requirements. Longer and more unique passwords are more secure.
2. Check All Accounts Routinely
Features like direct deposit and automatic bill payment make modern banking incredibly convenient. As long as their accounts do not go empty, people can be tempted to let their bank accounts default to “autopilot.” This is the exact type of complacency fraudsters count on. Checking accounts often is the only way to keep the accounts entirely safe. Crucially, one should even monitor accounts not used often. A digital bank account with SoFi should generally prove quite secure. According to the experts at SoFi Invest, account holders can “get up to 15% cashback at local establishments.”
3. Pick Safe Locations For Account Access
These days, most coffee shops and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi for their customers. While this is certainly convenient, people should avoid using public networks to check their online accounts. One never knows how secure or insecure such a network may be. ATM location is a major consideration when withdrawing money. Even if it requires driving longer, it’s better to use a familiar ATM. Bank ATMs are especially safe if used during business hours. Naturally, ATMs near police stations and public buildings tend to be relatively safe. Reportedly, ATMs in “touristy” areas are less secure. Exercise caution when it comes to any ATM that looks isolated or somehow out of place.
Balancing Security With Convenience
Undoubtedly, online banking is fast and very convenient. Sadly, new ways of banking come with new risks and new openings for scammers. Most banks provide guarantees to protect account holders from theft. Still, any unauthorized account access can be traumatizing and difficult to handle. Even if missing funds get replaced, this can take days or even months. This can cause a stressful economic disruption. Remaining alert and security-conscious is the best way to stay safe from thieves. Fortunately, banks are improving their security features on an ongoing basis. Working together, account holders and banks can make accounts reasonably secure.
Securing a bank account is not difficult or complicated. However, it requires consistency and ongoing effort.