• Keep account and card details confidential
  • Avoid net banking on public or shared network
  • Use ATM kiosks manned by security personnel
  • Download banking apps from trusted stores

The banking industry is a prime target for fraudsters. Right from securing a customer’s confidential details via phones and emails to cloning ATM and credit cards, there are many stories of individuals falling prey to imposters.

In the digital age when most banking activities are done online, it’s essential to be even more cautious. Given below are some key tips for safe banking.

1. Never share your account details with anyone

The first step towards safety is not to disclose your banking account and confidential details to anyone. Fraudsters, disguising themselves as bank officials, ask for such details through calls citing blocking of your ATM card.

Most customers, out of fear of getting their card blocked, disclose confidential information related to their account and card only to lose their hard-earned money. Remember, no bank official will ever call and ask you for your personal details such as Internet banking password, ATM card number, CVV number, PIN, expiry date, etc. If you get such a call, it’s better to immediately disconnect it and report the number to the nearest police station.

2. Avoid online banking on public computers or shared network

Online banking spells a host of convenience. You can check balance, transfer funds, pay bills and do much more within a few clicks. However, it’s important to avoid conducting online banking activities on public computers or shared network. Often these networks are unsecured and don’t have a proper security system in place.

Also, on a shared network if any one computer is affected by a virus, it spreads to other machines in no time. For conducting online banking activities, it’s best to use your own personal computer at home installed with an anti-virus and firewall software. For net banking, make sure to use the bank’s official site and double check for ‘https’ and the padlock sign on the URL. These indicate that your connection is secure and encrypted. Please ensure to type the URL on your own and not from Google Search. Always search for customer care numbers from Banks official website.

3. Use ATM kiosks manned by security guards

With ATM cards, you can withdraw money anytime you need. However, it’s essential to use ATM kiosks manned by a security guard. Fraudsters often install cloning devices in unmanned ATMs that capture your card details as soon as you swipe your card. Once cloned, the information is used to withdraw money from your account.

In case you are visiting an unmanned ATM, do check for any suspicious devices. Make sure when you are conducting any transaction, you are all alone in the kiosk. In case of any suspicious activity, bring it immediately to the notice of the concerned official. Also, never disclose your ATM card’s PIN with anybody. It’s better to memorise the PIN and change it frequently. In case you have written the PIN somewhere, keep it confidential.

4. Don’t share your 20-digit SIM number with anybody

Just as it’s essential to keep your bank details confidential, it’s vital not to disclose your 20-digit SIM number. Doing this can make you vulnerable to SIM swap fraud, where fraudsters can get all your personal banking information by swapping your SIM card. They approach your operator with fake identity documents to obtain a duplicate SIM card.

On successful verification, the original SIM, which you are using is deactivated and after generating a one-time password (OTP), fraudsters can carry out fraudulent transactions without your knowledge using the replaced card. It’s also advisable not to share your phone number on social media platforms and check with your mobile phone operator, in case your phone stops working for unusual reasons.

5. Download banking apps from official stores

Today most banks have come up with their own apps for customers. You can do a host of banking activities with these apps on your smartphone. It’s essential to download these apps from official stores such as Google Play Store and Apple Store and not from any third-party website.

Also, make sure your smartphone is updated on a regular basis. Regular updates patch potential vulnerabilities that may leak confidential details stored in your phone to fraudsters. Also, do subscribe for instant bank alerts, both SMS and email, to stay informed about transactions into your account and in case of an unscrupulous transaction/activity and report it immediately to the concerned bank.

These are some basic and simple tips for safe banking, with which you can keep fraudsters at bay. In case you fall victim to a banking fraud, bring the matter immediately to the notice of bank officials without delay.