By Damilola Ojo
This holiday season is a great time to kick back and relax with friends and family as you splurge on one or two things you or your loved ones desire. Unfortunately, as relaxing as this season can be, it can also be quite dangerous because of the thieves and fraudsters prowling around for easy prey. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 5 simple tips to keep your bank account secure this ember season.
Be Careful at the ATM
Try to avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash at a go this holiday. Also try to limit your withdrawals at the ATM to day time periods in public settings (preferably ATMs at bank branches). One can really never be too cautious when it comes to protecting personal funds, so additionally avoid being a victim to thieves with card skimming technology and limit your withdrawals to ATMs at bank branches which are monitored by cameras. Also, if anything looks off about an ATM or its surroundings then please walk away immediately and find another ATM machine.
Don’t Neglect Personal Safety
Remain alert when walking to and from your car at whatever car park, especially in the evenings. Don’t let strangers help with your packages or help you to your car especially when you are at a general market. If you must get help, get help from the staff of the stores or shops you visit and no one else. Keep your phones, wallets and other valuables as secure as you can from pickpockets and the like. If you are using public transport, try to avoid bringing out your phone, wallet or other valuables unless absolutely necessary.
Favour Cash over Credit Cards
Try ensuring that during this season you take along with you as much cash as you think that you’ll need (this, of course, doesn’t mean that you should then carry large wads of cash all over the place). Leave your credit cards at home so that in case of the unexpected no one would have direct access to your bank account through your cards. Additionally, you can go a step further by deleting or hiding your mobile banking apps so that, again, in the case of the unexpected, none will have direct access to your bank account or be able to force you to give up access to your account through these mobile apps.
Monitor Your Accounts Closely
Be sure to pay close attention to your bank statements – check your bank account regularly. You must be able to explain every credit and debit alert that you get. If any of your banking details have been stolen and are being used, this is one of the fastest ways you’ll know about it and be able to immediately take action against it.
Be Wary of Deals That Are Unbelievably Good
This ember season is that of many ‘mega deals’, ‘black friday deals’ etc. Be careful of these so called ‘mega’ deals and only shop from reputable shops (online and offline) and on secure websites (when entering credit card information online). Secure websites often have a padlock displayed at the top or bottom corner in your browser, and the beginning of the web address will be ‘https’ instead of ‘http’. Generally, if you’re suspicious or something seems shady about the deal, the store or venue the deal is taking place or the person facilitating the deal, then please walk away. It is better to walk away and opt for a reputable store, than take the risk and have your financial information stolen and your bank account compromised.