Keep your money safe: Here's how to secure your accounts

With all the scams and new technology targeting our money, it’s so important to protect our accounts.

Just this week we had a Starts at 60 member tell us that their account had been skimmed of thousands of dollars.

So to make sure that you are not at risk and your money is safe, here’s what you need to do.

Online banking

Online banking is quickly taking over and so we need to keep up-to-date with changes to how our money is banked. Whilst online banking is very convenient and can save a lot of time, you need to be vigilant and protect your account.

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Keep online banking password private 

If someone has your online banking password, they can have access to all of your accounts and money. It can take just one click of the button to wipe an account clean so make sure your password is very strong with a combination of upper and lower case letters, as well as symbols and numbers.

Also, don’t do your online banking at the library, your local internet cafe or on an unsafe public network. You have no way of knowing who has access to that information and you could be unknowingly have your keystrokes logged. A keystroke logger is a program used by identity thieves to monitor each keystroke typed on a keyboard.

Don’t access your account through emails

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You may see an email from your bank. but never use this to sign into your account as it could very likely be a scam email that will take you to a page that looks identical to your bank.

Also, don’t give out any personal information if someone who claims to be from your bank contacts you, by email or by phone.

Check for a secure connection 

When you visit your bank’s website, make sure that the page where you type your username and password always starts with https: The ‘s’ means that the URL is on a secure server.

 

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Offline Banking

Look through your statement

It’s easy to get your bank statement just throw it in the bin but you need to go through it if you want to make sure you haven’t been scammed or your money stolen. If anything doesn’t look right, inform your bank straight away.

After you have viewed your statement and found nothing out of the ordinary, shred it. If you throw it in the bin as is, you never know whose hands it could land in.

Be careful with your card

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It might just look like plastic but now that you can ‘tap and go’ on many debit and credit cards, they have become the most crucial thing you own. If you ever lose your card, inform your bank straight away and tell them to cancel it. Some banks also have the option of pausing a card in case you misplaced your wallet at home.

Check the ATM

When you withdraw money, make sure that no hardware devices have been added to the ATM. Skimmer devices, can record the information from the magnetic strip on your key card along with your PIN.

 

 

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Secure your phone

Treat your phone like a wallet and keep it with you at all times. Use a PIN or password to lock it and don’t save passwords linked to your bank accounts anywhere on it.

Report immediately

If you do find a fraudulent transaction, report it to your bank immediately. Your bank is required to refund your money as long as you notify the bank within 60 days of receiving your statement. However, the sooner you begin the process, the faster action can be taken to stop the fraud.

If you think someone has stolen your identity or has stolen your money, ASIC recommends you should:

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  1. Report it immediately to the police – Ask for a copy of the police report as banks and financial institutions will want to see it.
  2. Contact your bank or financial institution – Tell your bank, credit provider or the relevant company what has happened. If any accounts have been opened with your stolen details, ask for them to be closed or cancelled. You may need to ask them to set you up new accounts and PINs.
  3. Get a copy of your credit report –You should tell the credit reporting agency that you have been a victim of identity theft so they can note it in your file. Check your credit report to see what companies have checked your credit history recently, and let them know not to authorise any new accounts in your name. Get a copy of your credit report from one of these reporting agencies: MyCreditFile.com.au(Veda), CheckYourCredit.com.au (Dun and Bradstreet) and Tasmanian Collection Service.
  4. Get help from iDcare –  iDcare is a free government‑industry service which works with you to develop specific response plans to reduce the risk and impact of identity fraud.
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Find out how to report a scam and where to find support after being scammed.

 

Tell us, have you ever had your money or identity stolen? What did you do?

 

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.