GABORONE, Botswana, April 2020/ — As we all spend greater time at home during this period of extreme social distancing, it is inevitable that we are online and on our devices much more.
Commercial banks have heeded the call to ensure requisite enhancement of digital banking platforms, with the necessary fee reductions and security protocols. However, no matter how secure reputed banking platforms are, it is important for all consumers to exercise basic fraud prevention habits to protect themselves and their money. This is especially given the rise of new entrants to the market offering home delivery services – pharmacy products, groceries, etc. – which accept payment in a number of electronic means.
Here, we share some basic tips to keep your money safe.
- Do not reply to unsolicited email messages asking for personal or financial information
- Take extra precautions for logging into bank and other financial accounts – used closed WiFi or data log ins and do not share your details, account number or your password with anyone
- Do not use unsecured or unknown sites online for eCommerce – try to stick only to verified and reputed platforms
- Take precautions if you provide financial account information to third parties online. This includes WhatsApp grocery orders to third parties
- Periodically check your bank accounts for signs of fraud – eStatements and SMS alerts are also helpful here
- Install anti-virus software that prevents, detects and removes malicious programmes
- Use firewall programmes to prevent unauthorised access to your PC
- Avoid over sharing personal details on social media in risk of identity theft. This includes online quizzes that ask for personal information as many of these seemingly trivial questions can be used to guess your “security questions” for account access
- Always log off when you are done using a digital banking channel
During this period, try to make use of digital banking to avoid cash handling or visits to any bank branches as part of the Government advisory for Covid-19 prevention. In doing so, however, remember to be smart, be vigilant, and be money-wise.