Pat Drummond :: life & technology

September 23, 2019

Protect Yourself from E-transfer Fraud

E-transfers from your online bank account to someone by email is not quite as secure as the banks imply - and you may be stuck with the loss if someone hacks your email and reroutes the money. If someone hacks into your email account and reads the transfer email that contains a security "question", and is able to figure out the answer, they can easily reroute the funds. It might sound unlikely, but many people make it easy to hack their email by using simple passwords and then use security questions that are far too easy to find the answer for. Here's now to protect yourself.

1. Change to a more secure email password

Using uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters makes a password very hard to crack. Check yours using the GRC link below. (My email isn't easy to guess and would take 47 centuries to crack by brute-force online.) Two-factor authentication is extremely secure when you log in because only you will know the code sent to your mobile phone.

2. Set up (register) bank Auto-deposit to receive e-transfers

Using a question and answer sent by email to complete a transfer in your online bank account is vulnerable to someone who has gained access to your email account. However, once your account is registered, email is no longer involved in the transfer and the funds cannot be intercepted using your email account. When the sender begins an e-transfer to your email address, they are shown your "Name" so they can confirm the email is for the correct person. Once the e-transfer is sent, the funds are immediately deposited in your account. You are only notified by email after the funds are deposited in your account.

3. Ask everyone to use auto-deposit so you can safely send funds to them

If you send funds to people who use auto-deposit, the money can't be accessed by someone who's hacked their email. Everybody wins except the hackers.