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Financial Literacy

How to protect your bank account from phishing attempts

We often hear stories of people being defrauded of thousands, or even millions of Naira. As scary as the stories sound, we oftentimes still fail to take certain precautions to ensure we don’t fall victim.

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protect your bank accounts, Urgent need to re-up cybersecurity efforts as digital payments gain popularity

We often hear stories of people being defrauded of thousands, or even millions of Naira. As scary as these stories sound, many people still fail to take certain precautionary measures to protect their bank accounts in order to ensure that they too don’t fall victim.

As we all know, internet/mobile banking has made life so much easier. You have access to your money no matter where you are. You can also perform financial transactions without stress. But with this ease comes risk. Scammers use social engineering tactics to bait people into giving up details that can be used to empty their bank accounts. This means you must learn how to protect your bank account.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is when you receive an SMS or email that appears to be from your bank. It could also be a phone call from someone that claims to be a representative.

[REAd ALSO: How to invest in the Nigerian Stock Exchange(Opens in a new browser tab)]

They try to convince you to provide some personal information which they can then use to gain access to your money.

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They won’t fail to create a sense of urgency to make you feel you need to act fast. This way, you fall prey before finding out that something is wrong.

If it’s an email message, they will provide a link or an attachment for you to click or download. The link takes you to a fake site where the hacker can harvest the details they need. The attachments contain malware that gives the hacker access to your computer or smartphone.

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If you happen to receive such an email, you might be unable to tell it’s a scam since it’ll have your bank’s logo, letterhead, and other genuine information. They can even forge the original email address.

Since this trick is so convincing, how can you then tell when you are under attack?

[READ: Aliko Dangote is the only African among the world’s 100 richest people]

How to Identify a Phishing Attempt

There are several clues that give away this scammer’s trick. You can identify them once you are cautious enough.

  1. They’ll claim that your ATM card or bank account will be blocked if you don’t take immediate action.
  2. They’ll ask you to provide some information and tell you it’s required to solve the issue or provide the service for which they contacted you.
  3. They’ll make you an enticing offer and then ask you to download an attachment or click a link in the body of the message.
  4. They may use a generic greeting such as “Dear customer” rather than use your name. (But note that if it’s a targeted attack, the email or SMS greeting will most likely have your name).
  5. The message may contain spelling errors, typos, and have unusual fonts.
  6. When you hover over the link they sent, the URL will be different from your bank’s official website.

[READ: Stakeholder explains why FG should provide tax waivers for startups]

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How you can protect yourself

While there are certain actions you can take, the greater part of protecting yourself has to do with staying alert so you can identify phishing attempts.

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  1. Choose an email provider that offers spam, malware, and phishing protection. This way, you will be alerted when you receive a suspicious email.
  2. Configure the spam filter of your email service to be stricter in handling spam.
  3. Set up two-factor authentication to protect your email and social media accounts.
  4. Ensure your computer or smartphone has a strong antivirus program.
  5. Set a strong password for your ATM card, social media and email accounts.
  6. Don’t download your banking app from an unofficial site.
  7. Don’t share your security details with anyone, even if the person is a staff member within the banking hall.
  8. Don’t click links or download attachments from an email or social media message, unless you are explicitly expecting the message. If you must visit the link, don’t click on it directly from the message. Copy and paste it in your browser’s address bar to make sure the URL belongs to a genuine site.

Note: Secure websites (including your bank’s website) always make use of HTTPS.

  1. Visit your bank and make inquiries about the issue or service for which you were contacted.

Scammers continuously device new ways of defrauding people. It’s up to you to stay vigilant and not fall an easy prey.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kumbe, SoBarikor

    January 5, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Happy New year and God’s blessings to you.

  2. Anonymous

    January 11, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you very much and have blessed year

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Personal Finance

How to prioritise your needs over wants

It is crucial, as a financially oriented person to learn how to prioritise your needs over your wants.

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To become financially stable, you have to learn to make some strategic decisions, and one of them includes prioritising your needs over your wants. The things you need are the things you cannot do without, your necessities, which include; shelter, healthcare, food, clothing and other essential items. Wants, on the other hand, are the things you can live without. For people who want to be financially responsible, wants are considered luxuries. It is crucial, as a financially oriented person to learn how to prioritise your needs over your wants. If you buy everything you feel like buying even when you don’t need them, you are being financially irresponsible, and it might have a massive effect on you. If at all you are going to spend on your wants, it shouldn’t take more than 10% of your monthly income. The deal is; if you want to buy the things you want or desire, you should earn more money.

The needs of men are grouped into three (3), according to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They include;

  1. Self Fulfillment Needs
  2. Psychological Needs
  3. Basic Needs

If your needs don’t fall into any of these groups, then they should be considered as wants.

How do you prioritise your needs over wants? 

 1.List your needs and wants 

Writing down your needs and wants will go a long way in helping you to prioritize. Your needs should come first while your wants follow. Your needs should include your house rent, your feeding allowance, your medical fees, and other basic needs, in order of importance. You can group your wants into a hierarchy of priority and move the ones you cannot afford to the following month.

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2. Research the prices of your needs and wants 

Research the prices of the things on your list and affix. They might not be the exact prices and might be in ranges, but it is good that you do this. This would help you to calculate how much you might be spending in a month and if it fits your monthly income. With this, you will be able to remove the things that might put you in debt. The goal at the end of this should be to spend lesser than your monthly income and have enough for emergencies. This helps you to focus more on your needs rather than wants

3. Cut all luxuries

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As far as basic needs go, there are some rules to it. It is essential that you eat, but you don’t have to eat at restaurants when you can cook at home and save costs. If you can’t cook, you can also check out some cheap restaurants instead of the big and expensive ones. Also, if you are not financially capable to rent a big apartment, look for smaller and less expensive options that would help you to save cost. Some basic needs can become wants if you don’t watch it.

(READ MORE:Trump or Biden? How the US Presidential election will impact the stock market)

4. Get multiple sources of income 

The way this works is, if you get more sources of income, you get to settle all your financial needs which are your top priority, then you don’t find it difficult to buy the things you want. To prioritise your needs over your wants then becomes more comfortable.

5. Be sincere with yourself 

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Be realistic in your budget and don’t list out the things you cannot afford. If some of your needs will make you spend more, look for cheaper alternatives. You are the only one seeing your budget.

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As stated above, some of the basic needs include; food, shelter, water, clothing, security and so on. They are the things that might kill you if you don’t have them. It would help if you considered these basic needs first when creating your monthly budget. Having satisfied these needs, you can go ahead and get the things you want. Never choose your wants over your needs. It is a risky financial move that might make you go broke and run into debt.

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Personal Finance

ATM Fraud: How to care and use your card wisely

To protect your card from external harm, there are few tips you must acknowledge and start getting familiar with.

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The Cashless Policy, as we know it in Nigeria, was officially introduced and became fully operational in 2014 – with the aim to encourage electronic banking and to reduce physical cash in circulation – which would in turn decrease cases of cash-related crimes. One way of implementing this policy is through the use of ATM cards.

It is true that the advancement of technology has generally made our lives easier and more convenient. But, the adage “whatever has advantages, also has disadvantages” is not left out in the case of electronic banking. With the development of ATM machines and electronic cards for mobile banking, there are some risks and exposures associated therewith.

Some of these could devastatingly leave you broke in the blink of an eye; whereby, you find out the money you have worked so hard to accumulate has vanished with the stroke of some keys.

The Cashless Policy was met with e-banking fraud. There were reports of banks and individuals losing a lot of money to fraudsters, despite the regular checks put in place by financial bodies to curtail the loss of an individual’s hard-earned money.

The onus, therefore, falls on all responsible individuals to guard and protect their assets – Yes, your ATM card is an asset.

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It is important to know how to handle your cards and make sure you’re not only using it correctly but smartly.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) means a machine that dispenses cash and also performs specific banking services at the user’s convenience.

It is a dedicated payment system and the ATM card is issued by banks and other financial institutions for ease of financial transactions. It usually comes in the form of debit cards, which means you must have monetary assets with the said bank, to be able to use the card for transactions.

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In order to handle your card wisely, you must be intentional about the money that comes into and goes out of your pocket. You cannot leave anything to chance. Have a plan for your money and stick to it.

To protect your card from external harm, there are few tips you must acknowledge and start getting familiar with.

  • Protect your pin: You must not give out your Personal Identification Number. As the name connotes, it’s your very own personal form of identification, which grants you electronic access to your money. If for any reason your PIN gets exposed, you must immediately reset it. Furthermore, do not write it down on a piece of paper or if you must, do not leave it exposed or in your wallet
  • Always report suspected cases of fraudulent activities: When you’re in the know about your finances, any discrepancy will immediately come to your notice. Some people do not recover from cases of fraud, because they didn’t discover it on time. Remember that the earlier you report a problem, the sooner it gets resolved. On this note, you must always be familiar with all bank transactions and statements. If you notice at any time that your card is missing – especially when you’ve been out with it, and you suspect it’s been stolen, report it immediately and block that card.
  • Be cautious of the ATMs you use: Always use one that is associated with banks. Avoid any machine that may be situated in suspicious locations. In as much as it grants ease as a means of solving our problems, compulsive use of your ATM card should be avoided. Even with the extra charges attached to card transactions these days, you really would be doing yourself a favor by being careful of where you insert your card in your bid to avoid bank ATM charges.
  • Do not be careless with your phone: Try as much as possible to avoid being careless with your phone or any other device that may contain your bank information. Always create security profiles for your gadgets. It doesn’t take much for someone to access your details and wipe your bank account clean. Make sure that your phone is protected by a password or pin and whenever possible, delete traces of money transactions from your gallery or messages, after you must have successfully backed them up of course. Just remember that your card information could be contained on your phone and leaves you to exposure if mishandled, so handle with care.
  • Do not use public wireless connections for financial transactions: In fact, you should always be wary of all public wireless access. It is a fast and unsecured way for a third party to gain access to your private information. You could as well leave that information on a billboard for the whole world to access. Be sure to use password-protected wireless connections, it makes it more difficult for hackers to access your details.

Bottomline

Try to change your pin every few months. Keep it simple and short, only using codes you can remember.

Conclusively, while it is very convenient to use debit cards or ATM cards for financial transactions, you wouldn’t find it funny to learn that someone has emptied your account on the spot. Hence, it is important that you take precautionary measures to always keep your card safe.

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Financial Services

CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund will be funded through the NIRSAL MFB window of the CBN.

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CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund, Economic Growth, CBN, Governor, Emefiele, CBN releases new capital base, sanctions for Microfinance Banks, Nigerian Banks broadly positive after naira devaluation, Naira hits N465 to $1, Central Bank begins disbursing $100million to hit at currency speculators

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed the implementation framework for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.

This was disclosed in a publication by the Development Finance Department under the auspices of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN stated that the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (N-YIF) would be funded through NIRSAL MFB window, with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.

READ: #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years

The N-YIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

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Objectives of the scheme:

  •  Improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
  •  Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
  •  Boost the managerial capacity of the youths, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.

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What you should know
Recall that on the 22nd of July, 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023.
The fund was created to support the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youths, and to institutionally provide Nigerian youths with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • The fund targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
  • Beneficiaries of NMFB, TCF and AgSMEIS loans, and other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.
  • Individuals (unregistered businesses) shall be determined based on activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N250,000.
  • Registered businesses (Business name, Limited Liability, Cooperative, Commodity Association) shall be determined by activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
  • The tenor of the intervention is for a Maximum of 5 years, depending on the nature of the business and the assets acquired, of which interest rate of not more than 5% under the intervention shall be charged annually.
  • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential training for training/mentoring.
  • The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to login to the portal provided by the NMFB to apply for the facility.

READ: CBN raises alarm over fraudulent loan offers, investment schemes with charged fees

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As a huge percentage of youths are engaged in the informal sector, the NYIF will facilitate the transition of informal enterprises owned by youths into the formal mainstream economy, where they can be supported comprehensively, build a bankable track record, and be accurately captured as active participants in economic development.

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