How to secure your ATM/Debit card transaction, whether online or offline is very important as thousands of people fall victims to online theft daily. Internet crime is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world today, and more criminals are exploiting the increasing speed of the internet each day. In 2017 alone, over 1.5 billion US Dollars was lost to online crime. A lot of that amount lost was from the theft of ATM/Debit card numbers, PINS as well as other important financial information.
In this article, we will be talking about safety tips and precautions you can follow while transacting with your ATM/Debit cards, whether online or offline at an ATM machine.
Here are few tips to secure your ATM cards when you’re shopping or paying for things online:
Whenever you visit a website and the left-most part of the address bar shows http or nothing like that, that means the website is unsafe. You should NEVER input your Debit/ATM card details there. On a secure website, a green padlock shows and the website starts from https. The extra ‘s’ stands for secure, which means no one can read your card details or passwords between you and the server.
Whenever possible, avoid using your ATM cards on a public Wifi, or Wifi networks without passwords. Cybercriminals have access to these networks, the same as you, and can be able to view or steal your information without your knowledge. If you must use a public Wifi, it’s advisable to use a VPN app that secures your connection so no one on the network can see it.
Avoid using your birthday or phone number for any of your passwords, and ensure that you never re-use the same password on multiple websites. Furthermore, you should always cover your hands when entering your PIN to prevent the person next to you from seeing it. This tip may seem trivial, but there have been cases where unauthorized colleagues, spouses or children have accessed accounts this way for malicious purposes
Make sure you have SMS alerts active for all transactions. If you get notifications on your phone even for small amounts, it will help you identify the start of a fraudulent activity and you can take action immediately. The email alert becomes important when some alerts don’t get delivered to your phone due to network issues, but they get sent to your email
Installing an anti-virus software on your computer or your phone helps to keep them clean from various viruses and malware. One of the easiest ways for criminals to steal your information is by offering infected free apps or software. Once a user installs these apps, the criminal would be able to see everything happening on the device and steal sensitive information. But this can be easily thwarted by an antivirus software
Whenever possible, turn off your browser’s autocomplete settings to avoid it storing your ATM card details or personal information. This way, in the event of a theft or an unauthorized user using your device, they won’t be able to get your details.
Despite your best efforts, you might still suffer a breach in which your ATM/debit card details still get leaked or hacked by some clever criminals. Below are the steps to take if you notice any such
Contact your bank immediately if you suspect an unauthorized debit or charge and immediately consider changing your PIN just to be on the safe side. If you receive debit alerts for large sums, you can immediately deactivate the card and have it replaced before more transactions come through. Most Nigerian banks now support card deactivation by dialing a code.
Sometimes thieves will process a small debit or charge against your account and later return to take more from your bank account or add more charges to your card. Do not hesitate to report it immediately to the right authorities if you notice any small charges whatsoever.
This is a very common scam, often referred to as “phishing,” that can be used to steal your account information. Banks and financial institutions will never ask for account information through a phone call or email that they initiate. If you receive this type of contact, immediately call your bank and report it.
While most Nigerian banks have sophisticated 24/7 monitoring systems designed to detect identity theft and unauthorized ATM/Debit card use, it’s important to keep an eye on your financial statements. If you spot anything suspicious, call your bank immediately.
Staying safe online and keeping your accounts securely away from criminals is very important to us. We hope you can take note of the outlined tips and make them second nature.
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Have you ever had an interesting experience with online or offline ATM/Debit card use? Kindly share your story with us below at the comment section to keep someone safe. Thank you!!