Ecobank Nigeria has advised its customers and stakeholders to stay safe online and boost their cybersecurity initiatives against the rising activities of cyber criminals. In a message to customers via email, as part of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the bank enjoined customers to integrate four key measures into their online practices to safeguard their personal data from digital threats. These include, using strong passwords and/or a password manager, turning on multifactor authentication, recognizing and reporting phishing and regular update of their phone or computer software, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.
The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is usually celebrated in October annually. It is a month-long effort dedicated to promoting cybersecurity awareness and education. It aims to empower individuals and organizations to take proactive steps in safeguarding their digital lives, assets, and sensitive information.
According to the bank, customers should be risk aware enough to recognize and report phishing, describing phishing as an attack that attempts to steal money, or identity, by getting bank customers to reveal personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank information, or passwords – via a phishing website or link that poses to be legitimate.
“Cybercriminals typically pretend to be reputable companies, friends, or relatives in a fake message. Be careful if you receive an email or message asking for personal information. If you get this type of message, don’t provide the requested information without confirming that it is legitimate. Also, we advise customers to always use multi-factor authentication to protect their bank accounts and confidential information. Multi-factor authentication acts as an additional layer of security that helps prevent unauthorised users from accessing your accounts, even when the password has been stolen. Multi-factor authentication is a multi-step account login process that requires users to enter more information than just a password. For example, along with the password, users might be asked to enter a code sent to their mobile or email, answer a secret question, or scan a fingerprint.” The bank stated.
Further, Ecobank stressed the need for a strong password, “Your PIN, OTP and passwords should always be kept confidential. For strong passwords, consider using three random words, a mixture of capital letters, special characters and even numbers.” In addition, “You should update your apps and your device’s software as soon as they are available. Updates include protection from viruses and other kinds of malware and often improvements as well as new features.”
The Pan African Bank noted that it continually runs awareness programmes to ensure employees and customers understand the various forms of cybercrime and how to prevent them, stressing that with digital banking being a key pillar of its strategy, “we must ensure our platforms are well secured to safeguard the integrity of our data. The Bank has heavily invested in training and various forms of capacity building to ensure staff understand cyber related challenges and address them promptly.” The statement added.