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Social media and personal banking seem like they’re a world apart, but they actually have more in common than you may realise. Both are seen as essential in some way or another to our daily lives, they’re both used to try and help organise certain aspects of our life and, rather unnervingly, both have issues concerning their online security.

A recent story involving mass-scale banking fraud committed around the world shows how security of personal bank accounts can be breached, and how many banks have failed to adequately address the concerns of their customers. The story in question was about how a group of fraudsters had stolen up to $45m from ATM/cash machines worldwide in a sophisticated yet worrying manner.

Asset Stripping

How they managed to pull it off was access stolen account data, loading it onto magnetic stripe cards, and then they were able to use the cards they made in ATMs in various countries. In some countries like America, they rely on the older magnetic stripe cards to make cashless payments, shunning the more modern and secure chip-and-pin system used across Europe.

In most stores, chip-and-pin is in use, and with good reason. Instead of the old ‘swipe’ system, it asks you to enter your pin number before you make a payment, adding an extra layer of security which the magnetic stripe cards of old never did. In theory, this makes your bank account a little more secure, but there always seems to be new threats lurking around the corner.


Security is often a major concern of many people when their money is concerned.

They want to ensure that it’s free from the risk of being taken, but cannot guarantee that their money is completely immune from being stolen or moved somewhere else.

Online transactions are safer using a Credit card although there are surcharges you will have to pay. This is the main reason online shoppers choose to use a Debit card that may be linked directly to a savings account when completing a transaction.

What many online shoppers don’t know is that although using Debit cards you don’t pay any surcharges, Credit Card purchases are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Debit card for online purchases using don’t qualify for this protection because they don’t form part of a credit agreement making them less secure.

“If you haven’t authorised an online payment and claiming to be victims of fraud the banks should give customers the benefit of the doubt and while debit card protection offered isn’t a legal obligation it is possible for you to claim a refund if a card is proven to be used fraudulently,” commented a spokesperson from Yorkshire Building Society.

For anyone with a substantial amount stowed away in regular saving accounts, they will have the most to fear. However, future solutions to the ever-growing problem of bank account security may soon be in the pipeline in the form of two-tier authentication. Instead of just entering a pin number, an additional piece of data may be required before you can access your account.

Keeping Up

Many social media accounts require people to enter more than one password or piece of data before they gain access, and there are signs that some banks are keeping pace. For telephone banking, banks often ask customers who ring for their address and the answer to a security question such as their mother’s maiden name.

Although it’s a step in the right direction, it’s still no safer than the typical social media account, which is a little less susceptible to hacking attempts large and small. Until banking becomes more secure than social media in terms of logging in, account holders will have every reason to fear for their money’s safety.



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