Jun 7, 2017

On June 7, several Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) clients claimed that there are unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts.

However, BPI attributed the supposed fraudulent activities to a system glitch. While the bank promised to fix the glitch within the day, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will also do an investigation.

This fiasco may just be a simple glitch, but a real hacking even to a poor man’s account is totally possible to happen. So, how do we help our trusted banks protect our hard-earned money?

1. Monitor your bank account often
Some people only review their bank accounts when doing withdrawals or checking this month’s salary. However, regularly monitoring your accounts, especially when linked to regularly used apps like Uber or Grab, goes a long way. If you notice any suspicious activities or deductions, notify your bank immediately.

2. Change your pin or password regularly
Although some people keep their passwords or pins for the rest of their lives, changing your pin or password regularly can detract hackers. Also, do not use popular pins like “1234” or your birthdate.

3. Don’t use your card for untrusted stores
Let’s face it; online shopping is now a necessity. However, when using your card to pay for that potent skincare product people are raving about, make sure that you’re providing your card number to a reliable seller. According to BBC, you should always look for that small padlock symbol beside the URL and the URL should always start with “https.” Aside from that, never ever purchase anything online when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi.

If you’re doing a physical transaction, always be vigilant. Always inspect the ATM machine when doing withdrawals or balance inquiries.

3. Check the source of e-mails asking for your personal information
Hackers are now trying to phish personal information through e-mail. Make sure that the URL of the survey is that of your bank. Some people I know received an e-mail supposedly from BPI after the glitch asking for personal information. However, when you look at the URL, it’s a different website that is not even based in the Philippines. Better yet, confrim first with your bank if the e-mail is from them or just provide your personal information in person at the bank.

4. Don’t just save. Also, invest.
This advice is not geared towards protecting your savings account, but investing is a wise addition to managing your money. Saving is important, but it is better to earn a bigger percentage of money through investments. Putting your money in the bank, under a savings account only gets a low percentage of earnings. Investing may be difficult to grasp in the beginning, but it will help your money grow instead of being stagnant.

There’s really no ultimate safe place for your money, but vigilance is key to protecting your hard-earned money.

TAGS: ATM bank BPI savings tech