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Which is safer? Social media or your bank account?

Today, banking without at least some form of technology involved is almost impossible. People manage their money using ATM machines, websites or, in an increasing number of instances, their smartphones and/or tablets. However we manage it, we want our money to be as safe as houses, but is it as secure as we would like it to be, especially when compared to, say, social media? Social media sites have a few layers of security in the form of a password, security question and username, but in some respects, bank accounts aren’t that safe. A fairly recent story of how a group of criminals managed to steal $45m from cash machines throughout the world proves that there are plenty of obstacles to overcome when it comes to keeping our money safe. 
Stripped away This scam was made possible by the criminal gang, as they were able to download data from thousands of bank accounts onto an old-style credit card with a magnetic stripe, withdrawing money at their leisure. In Europe, the magnetic stripe cards were ditched in favour of chip and pin, which has been proven to be far more secure than its predecessor. Aside from using old cards to steal money, criminals are also able to successfully intercept purchases made online, taking advantage of the growth in e-commerce. They’re able to get past security gateways and steal money that would otherwise be spent on a gift or the weekly grocery shop online. Unfortunately, this is a practice which is played out all over the world with many victims. 
No guarantees Online purchases that have been hijacked by criminals don’t always come with refund guarantees. While credit card users are protected to some extent by the Consumer Credit Act, debit card users aren’t quite as lucky. “If you haven’t authorised 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. Some banks are beginning to follow in the footsteps of social media sites when it comes to protecting their customers. The use of two-tier authentication, whether it’s over the phone or online, is a big step in the right direction.


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