There’s no doubt banking online is a quick and easy option for most people. Use of ATMs is also a convenient way to get cash. When you’re in a strange land, however, it pays to be a little more alert than you normally would. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, you really don’t know who is watching you. As a tourist, you stand out, sometimes for the wrong reason. So it pays to follow safe banking procedures always.
Tips for safe banking when using a public or shared computer:
- Ensure no-one can view your screen.
- Always, and I mean always, log out of your online banking site by clicking on the ‘Logout’ or ‘Sign-out’ icon.
- Close the browser by clicking on the ‘X’ icon, usually located at the top right-hand side of the screen.
- Always access your online banking through your bank’s main web address.
- Don’t give anyone your customer ID or online banking password.
- If you suspect someone has your online banking details, change your password immediately.
- If you are having trouble accessing online banking when you are overseas, know your bank’s phone number to call – and call them.
Tips for safe banking when using an ATM overseas:
- ATMs in every country and every region are different, and some are safer than others.
- Make it a point to take a friend or friends with you every time you use an ATM.
- Be aware of the environment around an ATM – is it well-lit, who is behind the shrub next to the ATM, who is that person sitting in the parked car near the ATM?
- Select an ATM with a continuous transaction surveillance camera.
- If possible, select an ATM that is monitored or patrolled by a security guard. (An ATM I used outside a busy, mainstream bank in Thailand actually had an armed policeman standing beside it!)
- Do not wear expensive jewellery or take other valuables to the ATM.
- Always cover the keypad with your hand when making an ATM transaction.
- If you get cash out – put it away immediately. Do not stand at the ATM and count it.
- Never accept offers of assistance with the ATM from strangers; ask the bank for help.
- Never lend your ATM card to anyone; treat it as if it were cash.
- Make sure you retain your transaction receipt. Do not throw the receipt away at the ATM site.
- If you notice anything strange, leave and return some other time. Even if you have already started a transaction, cancel it and leave.
As far as your security is concerned, you can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Amen.
Enjoy reading this article?
Sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.