odern technology has made it easier than ever to access your funds, but this also means that others could gain access to your financial information if you don’t engage in strong account security practices.  

Protect your Bank Account with these 6 Tips

1. Keep your data private

One of the best ways to protect your data against account takeover schemes is to keep your account information private. If you must share this information, make sure that the receiving business, person, or website is both familiar and secure.   Additionally, you should never keep data such as passwords or debit card information in accessible locations such as iPhone notes.   Instead, try a password management application such as 1Password or LastPass. These systems store your personal information in an encrypted, secure format, and they even warn you when there is a potential data leak.

2. Get creative with passwords

Never use the same password for multiple sites.   Hackers commonly rely on people reusing passwords. A bot can take advantage of a less sensitive site to learn your password. Then, hackers will use that password on a more secure site (such as your online banking site) and hope that it gains them access.   To avoid this, always use a different password for each site. Passwords should be:

  • Long - Your passwords should be at least twelve characters long.
  • Diverse - Passwords should include letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Impersonal - No birthdays or pet names should be used in a password.

Even with a strong password, it’s important to change it periodically (every 3-6 months). This may seem like a hassle, but imagine how much more of a headache it would be to have your bank account hacked.

3. Set up multi-factor authentication to secure logins

It’s important to set up multi-factor authentication on all sensitive platforms so that you receive alerts for any suspicious activity and can act fast.   Multi-factor authentication works by sending a code via push notification, text message, email, or phone call to confirm that you are the one logging in. This code will be triggered when signing in from a new browser as well as every 30 days on your regular browsers.   To help keep your account protected even if your password has been compromised, Novo requires all users to participate in multi-factor authentication.

4. Check your online banking account multiple times per week

Should your bank account be compromised, it’s best to catch it right away. By checking your account balance and activity multiple times per week, you’ll be able to notice any issues right away to report them.   This ensures two things: First, many banks have time frames within which you need to file a dispute for it to be reviewed. If you check your balance multiple times per week, you’ll be sure to meet this requirement. Secondly, it can be easy for small charges to get lost in your banking activity feed, especially if you spend often.   Checking your activity tab a few times per week will increase the chances of you noticing anything suspicious.  

5. Conceal your PIN

Another fundamental, but essential, step to take when you make a purchase in person or use an ATM is to make sure that no one else can see your PIN. Keep in mind that many banks will not refund an unauthorized transaction that used your PIN. This means that you could risk losing your money for good if someone steals your money via your debit card PIN. Make sure to cover your PIN when checking out, and, of course, don’t use birthdays or anniversaries as your PIN.

6. Don’t log in to your bank account using a shared computer or WiFi

Shared computers could have viruses or keyloggers installed that steal your data as you type it in. There’s very little way to tell if a shared computer is going to be secure or not. It’s better not to take the risk.  Ultimately, you can bolster the security of your bank account and protect against fraudulent activity in a few simple steps. From installing multi-factor authentication to staying cautious about where (and with whom) you share your information, you have the power to make sure your account remains secure. Now go check your activity and update your passwords!

October 13, 2021
Banking 101