On February 5 of every year, the world celebrates Safe Internet Day. This year’s campaign dubbed ‘Together for a Better Internet’  is a call for everyone to join hands and make the internet a better place.

Internet has grown to be a place where we carry out almost all of our activities. We shop online, talk to friends, carry out business, and even transact online. With all these opportunities, come problems as well.  There is need to ensure safety when making online transactions using our debit or credit cards. Hackers have become craftier and our cards have never been at a riskier place. So how do you protect your card from hackers?

Opt to use the bank ATM machine

In as much as it may seem outdated and somewhat inconveniencing, using ATM machines located within the bank premises is one of the ways you can secure yourself from theft. You will not be a victim of online theft if you are not online right? Try as much as possible to minimise the transactions you conduct online.

ATM machines located in places such as stores, gas stations, and restaurants are also more vulnerable to hacking. Hackers are known to use skimming, a technique where they attach an undetectable device on your card which steals your information. Once the hackers have access to information like your name, card expiry date and number etc, they  can easily make a new card and have a field day using your hard earned money.

Set up regular alerts with your bank.

You can opt for email or text message. Any time a transaction is made, the bank alerts you immediately. This is important since you are able to monitor the movement of money in and out of your account hence avoid being compromised. While at it, you can request monthly mini statements which allow you to examine your bank account activity for unauthorized withdrawals or purchases.

Secure Websites

When making any online payments, always ensure you use secure websites for such purposes. You know a website is secure if it begins with the words https://websitename.com or checking for the lock icon in your browser.

Avoid Public WIFI

We all love free things and hackers know this pretty well. When making payments or checking your account balance, try as much as possible to avoid using the public wifi found in restaurants, airports and other public places.

Beware of Phishers

Phishing is a technique used by fraudsters to steal your ATM information. You may receive a phony call, email or text message from someone claiming to be from an organization you know. These fraudsters will trick you into surrendering personal details, which they can use to hack your account. Never give out your details to anyone over the phone.

Secure your account

Ensure that your account is well secured. Set your password to be complex and hard to figure out. You can also change your password on a quarterly basis.  Do not settle for just the username and password. Sign up for the two-step verification.

In case your account is hacked, or an institution you often transact with is compromised, be quick to minimize the effects. Report the issue to your bank immediately and request for a new card. Never ignore the security alerts, as they will enable you to know as soon as your account gets compromised, reducing the effects of the hacking.

Stay safe today!