By Charmaine Boois
Mariental, Nov. 9 – Bank Windhoek has urged members of the public to be vigilant while banking, especially online, as the festive season approaches.
According to Jacquiline Pack, the bank’s executive officer of marketing and corporate communication services, internet banking is preferred because, in addition to its many benefits, it makes banking incredibly convenient.
“Online banking allows customers to access their bank accounts to make financial transactions through the internet on their smartphone, tablet or computer. It is quick and enables people to pay their bills and transfer money without visiting or calling a bank,” she said.
“Online banking is of great convenience. But, with all the publicity about online identity theft, it is essential to be safe while banking online.”
She offered the following tips.
Customers should avoid disclosing private information to unauthorized parties and they should never respond to emails, instant messages or phone calls asking them to go to a website to resolve an account problem as this is a form of identity theft which is called “phishing”.
People should use strong passwords, with at least eight characters, with a combination of numbers, letters, and punctuation symbols.
People should not use the same passwords for banking and for other online accounts. These passwords should be kept safe and changed regularly.
Customers should guard their banking personal identity number (PIN) by not sharing it with anyone, including their bank or security guards at automated teller machines (ATMs) as personal identification data is more likely to be stolen physically than online.
Any documents that contain identifying information should be shredded before being disposed of in dustbins. People should not leave credit cards, bank statements, or other financial documents where fraudsters can access them. “The most effective way to beat fraud is to be vigilant and proactive. For instance, people should log on to their financial statements regularly and immediately report unauthorized transactions.
“They can also check their annual credit report from an accredited and reputable credit bureau to spot accounts that fraudsters may have opened without the customer’s knowledge.”