How Cybercrooks Can Hack Your Online Bank Accounts (Even if you Don’t Have One)

September 9th · 3 min read

Banking fraud can happen when a password and login falls into the wrong hands, whether from a data breach or other hacking attempts like phishing sites and spyware.

The fear of banking fraud continues to grow, and in fact, more than 60% of Americans say they’ve already been a victim of online fraud. Although it’s recommended not to use the same credentials for various online accounts, especially using social media logins for banking accounts, it’s still highly common. People assume “it won’t happen to me” or “I know how to spot scams,” both of which are wrong statements. No one is unhackable, and your details can get breached without you doing anything at all.

3 Ways Online Banking Fraud Can Happen:

Malicious Extensions

Malicious extensions can attempt to install malware, spyware, and adware on your device. These types of extensions don’t always look harmful, and you may not even know they are on your device as they often sneak their way in unnoticed. Once installed, they can follow you around the web to your bank account and collect your information to be sold on the dark web, or even worse for ransomware.

Data Breaches

When a data breach occurs, valuable information such as emails, passwords, home addresses, payment information, and more can end up on the dark web. Everything that a hacker needs to access your accounts. So even if you are extremely careful with everything you do online, a business or website that you had an active login with years ago could be hacked and your information could leak into the wrong hands. This is why monitoring information leaks for all your email addresses is crucial to avoid online bank fraud.

Banking Phishing Emails

Hackers can pretend to be whoever they want. When you receive an email that claims to be from the bank, like “Bank of America,” if you dig deeper and look at the email address’ domain and other elements in the email itself, you could discover it’s a complete fake. Banking phishing emails are designed to fool and trick you into clicking on phishing links that will cause you to disclose your credentials to your bank account.
One way to know if an email was sent from your bank, is to compare the email and sender names of an email you are 100% sure was sent from your bank. To avoid reaching harmful sites from phishing emails, use browsing protection that blocks away harmful websites, so that even if you click, you will be safe from getting hacked.

You don’t need to have an online bank account to get hacked. Given a hacker gets hold of enough of your private information, even if you don’t do any online banking, the cyber crooks could open an online account in your name and perform actions without you knowing it. In other words, identity theft.

How to Keep Safe from Online Banking Fraud:

Clean up your browser and remove popups

Enable full protection to keep safe from malicious popups, malware & phishing scams.

1) Keep a strong password for your online bank account and change it frequently

Make sure you don’t reuse your password, and if you get emails that prompt you to renew your password for your bank account, don’t click! Login yourself to your bank account, if your password needs to be reset, you’ll notice a message there. See more tips on creating a strong yet memorable password.

2) Install good antimalware

Install a tool like Guardio that will identify and warn you about phishing sites disguised as bank logins and remove any harmful extensions that attempt to hijack your information.

3) Stay up to date on data breaches for all your email addresses

Monitor each of your emails to know if there was a breach containing your login information. The sooner you know, the sooner you can take action. See here what to do if your information was involved in a data breach.

4) Keep track of your bank statements

Keep track of your online and offline messages from the bank. Make it a regular follow up routine, and if anything looks suspicious, call the bank immediately.

5) Double-check with the bank

If you got an email with a subject line about a loan, your paycheck, or a sum of money you received, and think it could be real - contact your bank. They will be able to validate the authenticity of the email.

6) Don’t do your online banking from public wifi

DO NOT login to your bank account or transfer funds when you’re in a public space. Wifi can be easily hacked, avoid connecting to your bank account from places like coffee shops or airports (when flights return!). Learn more on the dangers of public wifi.

Clean up your browser and remove popups

Enable full protection to keep safe from malicious popups, malware & phishing scams.

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