Nowadays, we’re all reliant on the internet to get some of those mundane yet necessary tasks done. We use it to stay in touch with work colleagues, to do shopping and to learn about what’s going on in the wider world. Something else the net has been used for in recent years is banking, which is incredibly convenient, but is our money always safe online?
Both online and offline, our money might not be quite as safe as we would like it to be. Although technology relating to finance has become more sophisticated, so have the criminals seeking to make a fortune by breaking into cash machines and hacking bank websites, giving people reason to fear the worst whenever they try to make a withdrawal or pay into their accounts online.
The story of how a group of cybercriminals in the US stole millions of dollars from ATMs worldwide shows that nothing is completely impregnable, no matter how careful you actually are with your money, card or online account. The gang in question who stole $45m managed to do it by uploading data from each ATM onto a magnetic stripe card, which has become outdated in parts of Europe.
In Europe, Chip and Pin technology is far more popular and is more secure than authentication of payments using a magnetic stripe. Users have to enter their pin number at the checkout before they can pay, thereby adding another layer of security. Amazingly, some social media sites appear to be safer than bank accounts.
Some social media sites use two-tier authentication – the use of a password and then a security question – for users to log in. Some banks and credit card providers are now doing the same when payments are being made. However, fraud is still something that causes plenty of worries for anyone who shops online.
Anything that is lost or stolen as a result of fraud during an online cash transaction is protected under Section 75 of the UK’s Consumer Credit Act. However, only payments made with some credit cards are covered.
“If you haven’t authorized 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.