Financial services & cyber security

Financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and others have all adapted to the Information Technology era, and providing their financial services online. With the various apps they develop to do so, we are able to easily and quickly access our accounts using our phones and other devices. It’s pretty convenient, isn’t it?

Along with such convenience however, comes various types of cyber threats. These include identity theft and fraud, which are constantly on the rise. Because of this, we must remain vigilant when using our mobile banking apps or any other software that give us access to financial services online.

If the apps and operating systems on our devices are not updated, online transactions can open the doors to cyber-attacks that can cause irretrievable losses. That’s why to ensure safe transactions online, we must update our apps as soon as we receive notifications to do so. As always, we must also use multi-factor authentication to restrict access to our apps and devices. And lastly, we must use strong, unique passwords that consist of letters, numbers and symbols.

As for our devices, when buying new ones or upgrading those we already have, we must make sure that they are fully compatible with the latest financial software available.

These are some of the things we must keep in mind, but they are not enough to ensure protection of our data online. As consumers, we also unintentionally expose our financial data to cybercriminals, especially in public settings. It would be safer to make our online transactions somewhere more private, but in case we have no other choice, we can still protect ourselves.

Whether in a restaurant, café or any other public place, we never know who’s watching, so we must always be aware of our surroundings. We must log into our accounts and make our transactions as discreetly as possible, and we must never leave our devices unattended, even if they are password protected. When not in use, we must always log out of and close our financial apps to restrict access. Also, it’s best to use a more secure network other than the available public Wi-Fi.

Although financial institutions invest in the best technologies and security protocols to ensure the safety of our financial data, each of us also has a crucial role to play in protecting our finances, devices and ourselves. Let’s continue to stay vigilant as we fight cybercrime and make the internet and the world a better place by constantly learning how we can continue to do so.

Remember, it starts with you, it starts with us.

By Tony Neate & Maurice Kajangwe