Can Anything Bad Happen If Someone Has My Bank Account Number?
Most of us have heard about reports of people being exposed to virtual security risks or being scammed because their sensitive information fell into the hands of scammers or cybercriminals. Unfortunately, the amount of such incidents does not seem to be decreasing any time, and it becomes more and more critical to ensure one's data security. Consequently, it is not surprising, users who start caring more about data security begin to wonder what information is sensitive and what they can or cannot reveal to other people. One of the pieces of personal data that appears to be always in question is the user's bank account number. In this article, we will not only answer the question whether it is safe to share your bank account number with anyone, but also tell you what information about your banking account you should never reveal to others and what you could do to protect it from online threats.
What can a person do with someone's bank account number alone?
To answer the question straight away it is doubtful anyone could do anything with the money in someone's bank account if they know just its number. In many cases, such information will only allow the person who has the account's number to transfer money to it. It is true there are cases when it becomes possible to set up a direct debit, for example, for a gym membership, but it depends on the institution's and the involved bank's policies. Some banks require verification signatures to set up a direct debit. Not to mention, there are banks who have protection systems designed to monitor suspicious activities on their customers' accounts. Of course, if you check your account from time to time you should notice yourself the money from it is being used for services you did not buy. Also, if the victim of such fraud reports it to his bank, it is possible it will be able to cancel the unauthorized payments and most importantly end the direct debit at once.
What are the tips on sharing one's bank account number?
Even though a bank account number is not a confidential piece of information because it can be seen by various people when writing cheques and so on, it is generally advisable to provide it only to the people you trust or who have a need to know it. Clearly, it might get tricky if you want to start a business or sell something online. In such case, giving one's banking account's number could be inevitable as well as knowing whether the people who learn it will be reliable. Probably, the smartest thing to do would be to open a separate account for receiving transactions from customers. Plus, security specialists highly recommend checking the account from time to time to monitor whether nothing suspicious is going on, especially if you give your bank account number to someone you do not trust or for potential buyers and people you do not know at all.
What information should you never reveal?
The bad news is letting untrustworthy people know other information about your banking account together with the bank account number might allow them to take money from the compromised account, purchase goods online, buy memberships or pay for services, and so on. However, the consequences depend on what is the additional information the scammers might get their hands onto. Security specialists say users should never reveal their PIN codes or passwords, ID numbers or online banking login information, credit or debit cards' CCV numbers, expiration dates, and so on. Scammers could try to get such data from inexperienced people selling goods online. Moreover, if criminals can contact their victims, they could pretend to represent the bank. Therefore, it is crucial to know, people who work at the bank should never ask for any details about your account over the phone, email, etc. It does not matter what reasons they give or how convincing it sounds, you should never provide sensitive information about your banking account. For more information about what could happen if your credit card information gets stolen you could continue reading this blog post.
How to protect banking data security online?
There are two main tips we would like to suggest. For starters, to ensure data security while making online transactions, users should always check if the websites they are purchasing something from are reliable and legitimate. On such occasions one could use VirusTotal; it is an online tool that analyses data and shows if any antivirus programs recognize it as malicious. What's more, it is just as important to keep the computer you use for shopping online or transferring funds malware-free. Sadly, there are a lot of malicious applications out there created to spy on the user and steal his sensitive data. For instance, the so-called keyloggers can record everything the user types, including online banking login information and the data about user's credit card that he might submit while buying something online. Lastly, to protect your credit card or PayPal account information you could use Cyclonis Password Manager's feature called Payment Methods. It allows users to create a digital backup of their physical credit cards. The application ensures data security by storing it in the user's encrypted vault where it is protected with AES-256 encryption. What's even better is you can use the Cyclonis autofill function to provide the banking information you save while shopping online without having to type it each time. Not only this saves time but also protects your sensitive data in case the system would be infected with keyloggers or other malicious applications capable of recording and stealing such data.