Safety tips for staying safe online and being in a crowded ATM machine

Safety tips for staying safe online and being in a crowded ATM machine

Fraud these days are escalating at a very high rate across the world. The state at which man finds himself today leaves him no chance but to seek means for survival and how to stay safe in the corrupt setting we find ourselves.

An idle mind they say is the devils workshop, lots and lots of people has been thrown out of jobs, no thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. And when someone who was once gainfully employed suddenly loses his job, with no new job in view, or even a means to meet his immediate family needs, so many thoughts goes on in such mind and if one is not guided properly the person might be stressed to take some wrong decisions that will only lead to pain and regret at the end of the day.

Probably you have already fallen victim or you know someone that his fallen victim just do well to keep reading peradventure you may learn one or two things that can help you out of your present situation.


The question of how vulnerable you are online is a question that can take a whole post trying to describe the various ways people can fall victim of online attacks.

You need to know that the internet is not a place where you can be and just leave yourself unguarded or uncovered. When you have accounts online you cannot afford to approach the issue of staying safe with levity.

  • If you normally shop online, you are vulnerable
  • If you have a Smart card (Visa, Master, Amex etc), you are vulnerable
  • If you pay for goods or service through any app installed in your phone, you are vulnerable
  • If you have an email account, you are vulnerable
  • If you have a phone (android, iOS) or laptop with which you connect to the internet, you are vulnerable

The other day I went to the bank to use the ATM to make withdrawal, I saw some of the people on the queue with me holding their cards in their hand and the card number was just exposed that one could even write it out if you want to. I thought within myself that these people don’t know the kind of danger they are exposing themselves to.


If you go to the bank or an ATM dispensing centre, try not to hold your debit card in a way that will reveal the card number to anyone around. Hackers and fraudsters can go to any lenght to steal from you. Don’t think it is only when they steal your card that they can steal from you. For your information once they are able to get your card number, your card expiration date and your CVV number they can steal from you in different ways, so don’t expose your valuable credentials carelessly.

Sometime ago a family friend was complaining to my wife how she was defrauded at the ATM. Asking her how it happened, she said she went to an ATM dispensing centre to collect cash, before it got to her turn, she observed the guy at the machine was taking so much time, she just kept watching eventually when it was her turn she got to the machine only to be disappointed it didn’t dispense cash to her, but gave an error message. As she beckoned on the bank security man to come to her aid, it fell on deaf ear, she quickly took her card and left not knowing something already has gone wrong. On getting to the house she suddenly noticed she got a debit alert from her bank. Checking up with the bank the next day, she was alarmed to notice she was defrauded.


When you go to the ATM dispensing centre endeavor to be very vigilant to observe the people around you, never allow anyone to get very close to you unnecessarily. In the world we live in today, when it comes to issues of security, everyone is a suspect.


So many people today have lost millions of dollars to fraudsters by misplacing their phone. This is because their phones contains the SIM card that is connected to their Bank Verification Number (bvn) and also their bank account.

Some people are fond of saving their bank account number and their bvn number in their phone book for example:

My Gtbank account number 0152345678

My First bank account number 0912345678

My bvn number 222333444666777

This actually puts you at a very high risk in the event that your phone gets lost or stolen. The attacker can easily gain access to your bank details and then clear your money.


Many tools abound today with which peoples password can be cracked. One of the things you must know is that in the digital world, one person can have multiple identities. It must be noted that you must not use the same password for all your online accounts. Using the same password puts you at a greater risk for example, if an attacker has access to one of your account, they equally have gained access to all other accounts you have online.

But when the passwords are different, it becomes difficult to crack all at once.

Tips for creating a password.

1. Avoid using some part of the user name to form a password

2. Avoid using the name of your spouse or child to form a password

3. Avoid using the name of your parents to form a password.

4. Avoid using your date of birth, that of your spouse or child to form a password

5. Make sure your password is more than eight digits

6. Make sure to use a combination of words and figures to form a password

7. Where it is allowed, combine special characters to form your password

8. Make sure your password is at least long enough

9. Avoid saving your password in your mobile phone

10. You can use password manager to create “real” random and long passwords

11. Never disclose your password to anyone.

12. Except your superior officer at work, never give people free access to your computer.

13. Whenever you are not in the office, avoid leaving confidential documents freely on your table.

14. Don’t write your password on your working table because of intruders

15. Never expose your credentials to people through phone

16. Anyone calling on phone claiming to be your banking officer, never give them your debit card pin code or your bvn number.

17. People may call you on phone claiming they are calling from your bank, you must be guided to know what to answer.

Note: your bank will never ask for your bvn update or bank account update through phone.

18. Anyone applying the urgency technique to make you take an action on phone or through an email is likely to be an attacker

19. When browsing the internet always ensure the URL you are browsing is actually what you typed, always double check

20. Don’t be moved to click on any link you see online because there are many fake links, fake addresses and malicious attachments.

Always be guided, always try and use your common sense.