Rahul Pandey

How to keep your bank account safe

July 04, 2022 | 5 Minute Read

Any money that you have in your account is a liability as you can get scammed/hacked and lose it. Best is to spend it all! Every month. Don’t cancel me for this; read How I budget in 2022 to understand what I mean.

You will have saving accounts and spending accounts. By saving account I do not mean “savings account” that pays interest.

An account is saving account if it has at least one of the following:

  • This is where you receive salary and any major chunk of money
  • where you keep sizable money
  • where you have FDs/RDs/emergency fund

With your saving accounts you should:

  • not have anyone as a beneficiary/payees except your own accounts
  • not have debit card attached to it
  • not use debit card in any ATM machine or online or with any merchant POS
  • not have any cheque book
  • not have any direct debit on it
  • not pay any bills from it
  • not have any loan on it (never take loan from a bank where keep your money with)
  • not have any credit card linked to it
  • not have UPI linked to Paytm or Google Pay
  • can have standing instructions to transfer a fixed sum to your spending acount or you can even do it manually as and when needed
  • not share the account number with anyone except your employer and family
  • have more than one saving account so that if one is under maintenance or is down you would still have access to some of your money. (Not keeping all eggs in one basket.)
  • Key idea is to not have any external exposure on your saving account. Your saving account lives in a void. It only knows your own accounts’ existences. And nothing else.

Now we have a spending account. It is an account that:

  • you will use to make bill payments
  • can have credit card linked to it
  • will use the debit card to withdraw money from
  • can have cheque book
  • can use UPI
  • will have very less money or money that if lost, will not give you sleepless night
  • has better netbanking features
  • can have direct debit to it
  • you can use to get those one-off payments (like reimbursements, transfers between friends and frenemies, etc.)
  • have more than one spending account

Other important stuff:

  • Prefer to use a credit card instead of debit card. With debit card, if you get scammed then your money would’ve left your account and you will have to do a lot of stressful things to get your money back.
  • With credit card, if you get scammed, you just need to inform the card issuer and they will block the payment.
  • Don’t get a credit card if you have a spending problem. instead open a new account and use that bank’s debit card everywhere.
  • Check your account and credit card statements regularly for suspicious activity.
  • Don’t withdraw money from shady ATMs. I have no idea how to identify a shady ATM!! The paranoids can withdraw money from banks using cheques!!!!
  • Do not login to net banking from anyone else’s computer, especially a public computer like cyber cafe or a stranger. They could be infected or have key-loggers.
  • Prefer OTP in email than SMS as emails are safer by a teeny-tiny bit.
  • Prefer app (Google authenticator, authy) based MFA if your bank provides it over SMS and email OTPs.
  • Use Apple Pay and Google Pay (contactless one) as they are more secure forms of contactless payments. I don’t use a card unless the shop doesn’t accept these.
  • Set limits on your cards from your bank’s app if they allow. But remember that you have limits set so that your tnx don’t get declined.
  • If you are going on a vacation, then it would be a good idea to freeze (freeze is diferent from block) debit cards that you won’t carry with you. Bad actors wait for you to go for vacation before acting.
  • Don’t store bank passwords, pins in your contacts or pins. Use a password manager.
  • Don’t use birthdays for pins
  • Google the netbanking url so that you don’t go to a wrong url because of a typo. e.g “Yes Bank netbanking login”
  • Double check website URLs for netbanking.
  • Bookmark the URL so that your browser will suggest it next time.
  • Check padlock symbol to make sure it’s https


  • Create a virtual box VM and use it only to access your bank account. And nothing else. And you also access your bank account from it and nowhere else, not even your mobile. (depending upon how much money you have, or paranoid you are or time you have)
  • if you can then check the certificate issuer. It shouldn’t be from Let’s Encrypt. I would be surprised if any bank uses Let’s Encrypt.
  • If you can then use a new mobile number and link all bank accounts to it. Don’t answer any calls on it. Keep the SIM in a feature phone like Nokia 3300. That way your phone can’t get hacked and can’t leak OTPs. But remember to keep the number active. Remember to check SMS so that you would know if money gets deducted from it.

P.S. I am not a security or a financial expert. So do your own research before you act on the above advice. I don’t take any responsibilty for anything on this blog. Views my own.

P.P.S. Above is only for fiat money and not for crypto money.

As I will add more later on, you can subscribe and bookmark this page and visit it later. I will also write a security for beginners post in near future.

You may also want to read this How I budget.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor so whatever I say is not investment advice. Please see a financial advisor for financial advice.

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