How to avoid online banking perils - UsherLoaded.com.ng


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There are many times when customers love online banking or Internet banking. However, there are a few other times when they find it so frustrating and costly. According to online banking experts, those few frustrating times come mostly because of careless mistakes on the part of the bank customer. They also say some errors occur in online banking as a result of infrastructure problem or error on the part of the bank.

Why customers love online banking


According to www.nextavenue.org, most customers love online banking because first, there’s the ease of being able to check their balance at any time of day or night on the computer or smartphone. They also adore online banking’s simple bill-paying features. At one sitting, customers can make payment into their various vendors’ accounts.

However, experts believe the simple feature of online banking makes it prone to mistakes by customers.

A Senior Vice-President at the American Bankers Association, Nessa Feddis, says, “It is very easy in this electronic world to get caught up and move quickly, hit the send button before we mean to. We all need to take time, pause and make sure the transaction is accurate.”

The odds of making a mistake are small, according to the President of the bank-comparison site, Bestcashcow.com, Sol Nasisi.

Generally, about 0.18 per cent of online bill payments are challenged for mistakes. (That number, of course, doesn’t include the ones consumers catch and deal with on their own). But 0.18 per cent translates into millions of flubs when you consider that there are billions of online payments each year.

Nasisi and Feddis say banks can often help sort out the mistakes, especially if payments never arrive but the bank’s records show they’ve been made.

Nasisi says, “That’s the easy one. Banks will get on the phone to help resolve the issue. The harder task is unwinding the error if a customer sent the wrong amount or paid the wrong person.”

That’s why Feddis advises consumers who’ve made an online banking mistake to contact the company that received the money and try to work out a solution. It’s not always easy. Nasisi says some firms, notably government institutions or some companies, often balk at refunding money, “reluctant to relinquish the cash once they have it.”

Online security concerns you need to know

There is a need to always be careful about your online security when you bank online. According to experts, hacking do happen and bank customers need to be vigilant.

In 2011, for example, more than 360,000 Citibank accounts were hacked, accounting for more than $2.7m in losses.

Just last week, a report released by a Russian cyber security firm indicated that hackers linked to North Korea were hacking bank accounts of customers in Nigeria and 17 other countries.

So, make sure your computer has the latest virus protection; don’t access your account from a public Wi-Fi system and change your passwords regularly.

Watch out for emails from what looks to be your bank; they could be phishing scams from con artists trying to gain access to your bankaccount information. When in doubt, contact the bank.

The report about North Korea hacking operations as well as others have shown that bank customers need to be more vigilant.

The report by the Russian cyber security firm, Kaspersky, claimed that hackers backed by North Korea were targeting financial institutions in 18 countries, including Nigeria.

According to a report on the hacking claims by CNN, two international security experts believe North Korea is likely spending the stolen funds on its nuclear weapons programme.

The report read in part, “Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“But researchers at Kaspersky now say the same hacking operation, known as ‘Lazarus’, also attacked financial institutions in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uruguay.”

Hackers were traced to North Korea after Kaspersky detected a mistake, and a hacker from a group operation known as ‘Lazarus’ connected from North Korea, the United Press International also reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the hackers had previously routed their attacks from computer services in France, South Korea and Taiwan, a move which made it difficult for security experts to identify the origin of the breaches.

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