Technological innovations in the banking and financial sector have had a great impact on the lives of youths as most of them have moved on from traditional finance and banking services.
Thanks to technology and its finance-related innovations, many are opting for the new channels of accessing services. We are going the fintech way.
But what exactly is fintech? How to protect yourself and stay safe?
What is Fintech?
Fintech – “financial technology” – refers to the use of technology in the delivery of financial services and products. Some of the services available cut across lending, investment advice, and the making of payments. Think about PayLah or GrabPay.
Fintech has changed how many finance businesses operate. This technology has helped in unleashing their potential. For instance, banks are now creating online platforms intended to create a closer interaction with their customers. Access to services is now wide and varied and there is a notable reduction in the cost.
Being at the early stages of development, fintech does not have comprehensive governance in place, especially in Singapore. This makes it easy to create and launch new products at an alarmingly new speed. For instance, the market is currently flooded with many money lending apps. Thousands of youths are subscribing to them, after all, they do not require any complex paperwork or documentation.
However, as the industry continues to swell and consumer integration continues to build up, data privacy and security become a major concern. Since they rely on internet use, the rampant use of fintech invites the attention of malicious cybercriminals like the one that was launched against Finastra, whose ransomware attack left thousands of subscribers a worried lot.
Cybersecurity Risks of Fintech
Because they possess a large number of user profiles and data, fintech is vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. This is according to research conducted on trends on fintech’s operations and the challenges facing affecting their operations.
Although financial institutions promise not to use your data for reasons beyond what they ask it for, you can never be 100% sure about data leakage and misuse. There need to be properly laid out technical and legal measures.
Ascertaining digital identities
Because fintech offers its services over the internet and on IoT devices, we cannot rule out the possibility of hackers cloning identities to access consumer’s accounts.
Ways to Protect Your Financial Data
Read Before You Sign
Financial institutions should lay out clear boundaries on the purposes for which customer data can be used. As a fintech user, make sure you understand the laid out boundaries in clarity before subscribing.
Use a VPN
Users of fintech services should consider using a VPN to protect their personal data.
A VPN is a connection that encrypts data before it is transmitted over the internet. The process codes information into a secret code that cannot be understood by a hacker, should he even succeed in intercepting it.
A VPN also changes the addresses of subscribers making it hard for hackers to trace their footprints online. With a VPN download, institutions and individual users can go a long way in protecting sensitive data.
Use Only Secure Wi-fi Networks
Handling your online banking duties might be dangerous over public Wi-Fi networks. As the networks are unencrypted, they are vulnerable to hacks and data breaches. If you need to use a public network, remember to secure your connection with a VPN. If you don’t have one installed, refrain from performing transactions outside of your home.
Enable Two-factor Authentication
Using the two-factor authentication adds a layer of security to your banking account. As you are required to provide verification on another device or platform, it is more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts and information.
Do Not Let Convenience be at The Cost of Your Security
Although cyberattacks are not unique to fintech, the security attacks threat posed by increased use cannot be ignored. There need to be stronger systems in place, systems that block all the loopholes that can be exploited by cybercriminals.
There needs to be a conversation, a conversation that will set expected standards in line with this new technological innovation.