HomeFinancePersonal FinanceHow to keep money in your savings account safe

How to keep money in your savings account safe

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Simply keeping money in a savings account can keep your money safe, but only to a certain degree. It would help if you also educate yourself about banking frauds. Educating yourself will give your money enhanced safety.

Phishing, vishing, card skimming, identity theft, and cheque fraud are some of the common frauds that continuously threaten the finances of the unprotected. 

If you keep some vital points in mind, you can avoid becoming an easy target of banking fraud. Let’s decode how you can keep your savings account safe.

Also read: Smart shopping tips to help you save money

Beware of Weak Password 

If you have a weak online banking password, hackers may be able to gain access to your account. What’s a weak password? Some examples are ‘password’, ‘qwerty’, ‘123456’, and so on. It could also be your or your close relative’s name, a mobile number, your vehicle number, or common number series like your birth year or marriage anniversary. These are guessable and therefore weak. Also, using the same password for all accounts makes you vulnerable to cyber-attacks because once hackers get access to one account, they can easily breach the security of your other accounts.

Therefore, “use unique and strong passwords for each of your online banking accounts. Use a combination of mixed-case alphabets, numbers, and special characters to create a strong password. Also, change your passwords at regular intervals. Never share your bank account password with anyone. If you find it difficult to remember the passwords of several accounts, take the help of an authentic password manager mobile application, or write down passwords in a diary and keep it in your safe custody,” advises Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com.

Never Share Personal Details with Anyone

It’s not only sharing the password that can put your bank account at risk. If you share your personal details and ID proofs with an unknown person, you put your bank account at risk. Please remember that using your details like birth date, signature, marriage date, name of the family members, ID proof, etc., fraudsters can guess the answers to your security questions and breach your account.

In a recent case, an imposter contacted a person through a mobile call impersonating a bank official. He already had all the personal details of the account holder to win his confidence. The imposter informed the person that his bank account KYC had to be done else his account would be blocked permanently. To update the KYC, the caller requested the account holder to share the OTP that he’ll receive in a few seconds on his mobile. The person couldn’t see that the caller was an imposter and shared the OTP. Within a few minutes, he received bank messages of multiple debits as the entire fund from his bank account was stolen.

Remember, the bank’s officials never call customers and ask them to share the OTP. 

Follow Bank’s Security Advisory

Banks usually send security advisories from time to time via email and social media. They educate customers about how they can use their accounts safely and not fall to scams. Pay attention to these advisories and follow the instruction in them at all times. 

Check Your Bank Statement And Messages Regularly

Keep a watch on your bank account as it can help you immediately track any unscrupulous activity. Banks send SMS and emails to customers alerting them to transactions. A tab on the bank’s messages can help you immediately recognise fraud transactions and avoid losses.

Access Online Banking In A Safe Network

Avoid using online banking transactions when accessing the internet in a public network like hotels, restaurants, cafés, etc. Public internet networks may not be configured for safe access to online banking channels, so hackers can see and track any transaction happening in such a network. In an emergency, if you have accessed your bank account using the public network, try to change the password as soon as you get on a secured network. 

Keep Your Chequebook Safely

Always keep your chequebooks in safe custody and never give a cheque leaf (without cancelling it) to anyone. Fraudsters can copy your signature to withdraw money from your bank account or make financial transactions using your cheque. In some transactions such as investing in a mutual fund, you have to give a cheque leaf as bank account proof. While handing over the leaf, always remember to cancel it properly. 

Beware While Using Debit Cards In ATMs or POS

Have you heard of debit card cloning? Fraudsters hide a skimming device in vulnerable ATMs. When you swipe your card at such an ATM, your card details get stored on the device and can be used to create a copy of your card to be used for fraudulent transactions. You can prevent cloning by not using your card in unguarded ATMs in unsafe places. Also, watch for any unusual attachments when using a POS machine. 

“If you are careful and aware of the various frauds, you can keep your savings account safe and secured. Despite taking precautions, if you still fall prey to banking fraud, contact your bank’s customer care immediately. Get your debit card, and bank account blocked to restrict further losses. In most cases, if you report the instances of fraud to banks on time, there are high chances of you getting your money back or minimising your losses,” says Shetty.

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