Reports of hacks on credit reporting agency Equifax and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have dominated recent news. Millions of Americans are worried their personal and financial data is hacked. SMS integration into 2FA security routines used in Bank Alerts are a first-line defence against hackers attacking your bank account.
CBC News reported approximately 100,000 Canadians were also affected by the Equifax breach, potentially exposing credit card numbers, insurance information and personal addresses.
Since word of the hack broke, hundreds of thousands of consumers have frozen their credit, applied for identity theft protections and complained to government officials. Class-action lawsuits may result. Consumers want action to prevent future trouble.
What Do the Recent Hacks Mean For Banks?
Bank customers have questions about the recent security breaches. If someone's personal information was compromised, it's easy for criminals to apply for new lines of credit, open accounts, or drain existing accounts.
Business Insider's Lauren Lyons Cole is a certified financial planner. She cautioned her readers to monitor their credit reports and bank accounts for suspicious activities. They should take these kinds of steps regardless of an imminent threat. Banks with monitoring services such as text notifications have a leg up over competitors that don't. SMS bank alerts are helping by giving timely response to security threats on client bank accounts and validating account use.
Who Needs Protection Against Identity Theft?
The short answer is everyone. The private information of over 143 million individuals was compromised in the Equifax breach.
Consider this: In early July, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the American population at 323.1 million with 22.8 percent of the population under age 18. That leaves approximately 249.4 million adults. If the situation were a raffle lottery, the average adult would have 143:106 odds of winning – that is, getting their identity stolen. That's about a 57 percent chance of being affected by the hack.
In dealing with hackers one thing is certain: Consumers and financial institutions need to be vigilant. There's no way to tell when, or if the information will be sold, or used for malicious purposes.
How Can Text Notifications Help Identity Theft Victims?
Bank alerts cannot stop an identity thief, but they can make it easier for victims to take action before their finances are seriously harmed. Text notifications can alert consumers when their accounts are accessed, or if a new account has been opened in their names. Best of all, they are a long-term, automatic solution to a problem that likely won't go away and has proven to be a cornerstone in 2FA security routines using SMS as a preferred alert medium.
Remember, Social Security numbers don't expire. So when consumers' information gets out, it can come back to haunt them for the rest of their lives. Bank alerts can help consumers stay vigilant without needing to personally monitor their accounts every day for decades.
Implementing an SMS notification system is easy if you are dealing with the right SMS aggregator. Being a pioneer in SMS 2FA validations starting a decade ago, Swift SMS Gateway's API plans give IT professionals customized support to achieve their goals in a timely and cost-effective manner. Automated notification services free up personnel to tackle more complicated issues and provide consumers with piece of mind.
To learn more about how to implement text notifications at your bank, sign up for a free demo today.