As convenient and user-friendly as the ATM (automated teller machine) and online banking services are, they have their own share of security risks. This blog entails the security risks of using ATMs and online banking, and discusses some valuable safety measures users can take.
Risks Involved with ATMs
The greatest security risk of using an ATM is falling prey to “card skimming”. It is an illegal activity carried out by criminals to obtain the data embedded in the magnetic strip of credit or debit cards that are used in ATMs. You can read more on card skimming, and get some important security tips here.
Risks Involved with Online Banking
Fake ICICI Bank website
A phishing scam involves sending emails to a target. The emails are skilfully designed to look like a genuine communication from a trustworthy entity – in this case, a bank. Such emails contain links to websites that almost appear as the customer’s bank’s website. Once the user lands on the fraudulent website, they are asked for their bank account details.
Pharming is a type of phishing activity, where, even if a user types in the correct URL of their bank’s website, they get redirected to a fake website, that looks identical to the legitimate one. In short, pharming is a method that an attacker uses to hijack a bank’s URL.
If you usually carry out online banking in a public network like cyber cafes, then you are risking yourself to keylogging. Keylogging is a method of capturing the keyboard keys you strike during your online activity. With this data, it is not difficult for criminals to track your online banking details, and use the info to make illegal transactions.
A hardware keylogger
The man-in-the-browser (MitB) is a Trojan horse. Once this malware infects your system, it sits dormant in your system’s browser. When you visit a banking site, the malware gets activated and displays a fake login page (similar to the login page of your bank). The fake page will ask for your bank credentials and other security information. Providing all these details will let the attacker hijack your bank account, and change the destination account you are transferring your money to, and even the amount. The hijacker can also modify and adjust transactions so that you do not sense any changes in your account.
Some Online Banking Safety Tips:
1. Always do online banking from a secured connection at home. Avoid doing it from a cyber cafe, a shared computer, or over an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
2. Always look for the “padlock” icon in the window of the browser (it won’t be present in the web page itself). Also, ensure that the URL of the bank’s website begins with “https”. Both these things indicate that you are on a secure website.
3. Change your banking password regularly, and do not keep one common password for multiple online banking accounts.
4. Monitor your bank account on a regular basis.
5. Always remember to LOGOUT from your bank’s website, once your work is done.
6. Avoid clicking external links in mails or elsewhere, which offers to take you to your bank’s website.
7. It is a good practice to check your last login history, whenever you login to your bank’s website.
8. Consider using the virtual keyboard while entering your banking password. Taking this security measure significantly reduces the risk of keylogging. Alternatively, you can also make use of the Onscreen Keyboard, which is freely available in PC and Mac.
9. If you are using a mobile banking application, then be certain that it has been downloaded from your bank’s website and not from any other source. It is also essential that you review the permissions of the application.
To conclude, always employ a reliable antivirus and ensure that the software is up-to-date so that you can keep your system, and other crucial details safe and secure.