Help protect yourself and your information with these quick and easy tips

With the onset of convenient banking and 24/7 service delivery through mobile banking and online banking, banks have found themselves on the increasing need to avail their services to their customers faster and in a more reliable way. This has changed the way most banks look at a customer and their flexibility to the disruptive change in technology. Even further, evaluate their business modules and their effectiveness to meet their objectives.

According to the Kenya Bankers Association, the mobile money market size has 17 million users transferring Kshs. 2 billion daily, of these over 14 million are Mpesa customers. This goes to show the massive interest, financial muscle, the convenience mobile banking has and its usability. Banking on-the-go has numerous benefits but the hiccup and challenges with a worrying concern in data privacy, protection and cybersecurity legislation cannot be underscored.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. Protect Your Smartphone from Unauthorised Access

 Create a 4 pin password that is strong and unique  for your phone which restricts access to your phone without permission, install an antivirus software that protects your phone from mobile malware, install software to erase the contents of your phone in case it is lost or stolen and also consider installing a location- based software to trace your phone when it is lost.

Make sure you regularly change your passwords and avoid using the same passwords  in your sign ups.

2. Avoid accessing your Online or Mobile banking App from unsecure/ public WiFi  hotspots such as coffee shops, airports, and restaurants

Public WiFi hotspots may pose as Free WiFi but it exposes you to potential risks in interception of data such as passwords. If necessary, access your mobile banking app  and other sensitive information using cellular data that minimises chances of breach. 

3. Avoid Phishing Emails

There are a number of ways you can identify a phishing email prompting you to  either take an action as simple as updating your log in information or downloading an attachment/file from an unfamiliar source. 

This kind of emails from seemingly prominent people or philanthropists are used as bait soliciting for your account information.

Do not surrender private and confidential information to such emails or questions that seem to undermine your privacy in a scammy way.

4. Avoid saving passwords / sensitive information on the phone

Sensitive information is data that could jeopardise or make vulnerable your digital footprint. Avoid saving your passwords or Pin information in the phone’s Sticky Notes,  Notebook or folders that leave you exposed.

Saving your personal passwords or username on your browser could be detrimental in the event that an unauthorised person gains access to the browser or email.

When using a browser, look for a “lock” icon on the status bar of your internet browser which means your information will be safe when it’s transmitted. Look for the lock before you send personal or financial information online.

5. Be careful about App downloads and Permissions

This year in February, Zak Doffman, Forbes’ security and surveillance writer, highlighted the 24 ‘Dangerous’ Apps with massive installs that were a security threat   to Android users. 

The growing concern of most downloaded apps is the number of permissions they require before access. Most times we blindly ‘Accept’ or ‘Allow Access’ without questioning the legitimacy of these ‘Free Apps’. 

Beware of apps that require permissions to access gallery and camera, make phone calls, view messages, user details and location. Third party access to sensitive information minimises chances of impersonation. 

‘’ Everyday, whether we want to or not, most of us contribute to a growing portrait of who we are online; a portrait that is probably more public than most of us assume. So no matter what you do online it’s important that you know what kind of trail you’re leaving, and what the possible effects can be.’’ – Internet Society of Kenya

Stay Safe!