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As Online Banking Becomes Popular, We Need That Silver Lining

20th Jul, 2016

What comes to your mind when you think of hacking? Maybe some far-fetched James Bond technology that involves some cloak and dagger types in fedora hats and dark hallways where all manner of nefarious activities take place, shrouded in darkness?

Perhaps something that only happens only in western countries?

The truth is that hacking (and how to get ahead of hackers) has become a thorn in the flesh of many corporates. It is becoming more of a reality every day in Kenya. It is no longer only the stuff of those under-the-counter pirate movies people like to indulge in.

Online banking is becoming increasingly popular in Kenya. It is fast, efficient and saves everyone a whole lot of time. But it also opens opportunities for hackers to try and crack the system to reap where they never sowed.

Hacking into your bank account can happen in many ways, and the important thing is to be aware and to stay ahead of the hackers.

Imagine being on your smart phone probably responding to an email and your phone goes off mysteriously for more than an hour. When you are finally able to access it, your bank account is empty and you have a loan of £8,000 (about Sh1.09 million). This happened to one gentleman in Nottingham who was a victim of what is called SIM-swap fraud. His attackers contacted his mobile service providers posing as his wife and requested that a new SIM Card be activated under him. They changed all the bank details and within an hour he was a virtual pauper.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Back at home, one ambitious Kenyan’s claim to fame hacked in and made away with about Sh3 million!

The important thing is to know the do’s and don’ts if we are to avoid having our accounts accessed by strangers; Change passwords frequently, do not share your password with anyone, activate the SMS/Email feedback when you make a bank transaction, be up to date on all your details. If you have cents in your figures, DO NOT round it off to your nearest shilling. Some hackers steal small amounts such as cents from multiple accounts which normally goes unnoticed. Financial institutions should also be quite keen on this and finally, avoid leaving things like your phone just lying around in places where it can be accessed by strangers, you might end up losing everything.

Technology brought us out of dark ages but let us not forget this darkness in our silver lining.

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