Cashless Society: ATM, Online & Mobile Banking Security Tips

Internet, mobile and card transactions are becoming widespread and make banking and life easy for customers, the Online and Mobile Banking Security Tipsmerchant and the bank, but they also come with their attendant security threat that can rip you off your hard earned money.

Sequel to now, the threat this posses is small as few Nigerians adopt such alternative e-payment mediums, but given to the recent introduction of cashless economy to the Nigeria economy, there is need for more public enlightenment on safety tips when conducting Banking Transactions online, with ATM, on phone. In addition, the business merchants should also take many safety measures to identify fraudulent transactions. Abdulazeez Idiaro in his upcoming book Safeguard yourself and business in a cashless society, explains how to safeguard yourself, identify fraudulent transactions among others. Below here are extracts from the upcoming book:

SECURITY TIPS: Shopping online securely

To minimize your chances of becoming a victim of fraud whilst shopping online, you should:

  • Beware that your card details are as valuable as your cash at hand, hence it should not fall in the wrong hands – store your cards securely at all times and try not to let them out of your sight.
  • Only shop on secure sites. Before submitting card details, ensure that the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing in your browser. Locked padlock symbol is usually found at the top of the screen of your browser Internet Explorer. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox etc. The beginning of the online retailer’s internet address will change from ‘http’ to ‘https’ when a connection is secure. In some new browsers, such as Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 or higher, the address bar may also turn green to indicate that a site has an additional level of security.
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone and never send it over the internet.
  •  Print out your order and keep copies of the retailer’s terms and conditions, return policy, delivery conditions, postal address (not a post office box) and phone number. There may be additional charges such as local taxes and postage, particularly if you are purchasing from oversea. When buying from overseas remember that it may be difficult to seek redress if problems arise, but having all the aforementioned information will help your bank/card issuer take up your case if you subsequently have any difficulty.


TIPS: Banking Online Securely

To help avoid online scams you should always:

  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed.
  • Always download the latest security updates from the internet, known as patches, for your browser and for your operating system (e.g. Mozilla updates, Windows update).
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails requesting personal financial information.
  • Keep passwords and PINs safe; always be wary of unsolicited emails or calls asking you to disclose any personal details or card numbers. Your Bank/Card issuer would never contact you requesting you to disclose your PIN.
  • Only divulge your card details in a telephone transaction when you have instigated the call and are familiar with the company.

TIPS: Mobile Banking Security

Taking steps to protect your smartphone when conducting mobile banking transactions not only saves you time but also ensures that you’re getting the best online experience when conducting your mobile banking transactions. The following are precautions and tips you can implement to protect yourself:

  • Set a strong password. Password-protect your mobile device and lock your device when it’s not in use. Don’t use passwords, names or numbers that could be easily guessed by looking at other information on your phone. Try to use numbers, symbols and capital letters in your password and change it frequently.

Make your password complicated but easy to commit to memory. This way, hackers will find it problematic to break into your account. But make sure that you can remember it. Otherwise, you will also lose access to your account. Keep your mobile device in a safe place.

  • Be vigilant with banking transactions on phone. Just as you need to be careful when you give your Debit/Credit card number to someone, be careful where you enter your login information. Never enter your login on a website or in a mobile application that doesn’t come directly from a trusted company.
  • Look for the “s”. Only enter your account or card information on a site that begins with “https:” or displays a lock symbol.
  • Download apps carefully. It’s best to only download applications (especially mobile banking applications) from your Bank, trusted sources and trusted developers. Trust is often difficult to establish with the limited information available on a download site – so it is important to research third party reviews and look at the ratings before you download.
  • Download app updates regularly. Many Mobile Security app are automatically updated to protect users from the latest threats, but the same may not be true of some-such as your banking and payment apps. Be sure you check them for updates regularly, as often times these may include fixes to many security flaws.
  • Auto-lock your Smartphone. Set your phone to require an access password and enable your screen to auto-lock in five minutes to keep your information private.

ATM Safety Tips

To minimize chances of someone stealing your card or card details at a cash machine:

  • Have your card out (at hand) and ready to use when going to an ATM.
  • Shield the screen and keyboard so that anyone waiting to use the ATM would not see you enter your PIN or transaction amount.
  • Put your personal safety first. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable cancel the transaction and use a different machine.
  • If you spot anything unusual about an ATM machine, or there are signs of tampering, do not use it-use another machine/bank. Report it to the bank concerned immediately.
  • Be alert. If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine. Do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted.
  • Take a friend with you to the ATM – especially at night.


Running a Secured Online Merchant Store

The following characteristics could indicate fraudulent transaction behavior, i.e, Possible risk indicators.

  • First time customer
  • High value orders or orders that are larger than normal
  • Suspicious card combinations—A variety of payment card combinations might give rise for concern and further investigation, for example:
  1. Transactions made with cards that have similar account numbers.
  2. Orders shipped to a single address, but purchased with various cards.
  3. Multiple transactions on a single card over a very short period of time.
  4. Multiple transactions made with several cards with a single billing address, but multiple shipping addresses.
  5. A single transaction in which the customer wants to pay with multiple cards. More than one or two cards may as well indicate a fraudulent transaction.
  • Rush orders—Urgent requests for quick or overnight delivery. The customer who ‘needs it yesterday’ – are another sign of possible fraud. While often perfectly valid, rush orders are one of the common characteristics of ‘hit and run’ fraud schemes aimed at obtaining merchandise for quick resale.

The above security tips are extracts from the upcoming book of Abdulazeez Idiaro, titled : Safeguarding yourself and business from fraud in a cashless society. To subscribe for news update & enjoy discount of the book launch, register online at:



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