Safe Online Banking

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Online banking is becoming very popular as people have less time to visit their banks to carry out transactions and we’re becoming very used to doing more and more business on our mobile devices (and PCs).

Logging in on a Desktop or Laptop Computer

You should always access the bank website from your browser favourites or type in the Internet address – never respond to emails claiming to be from your bank asking you to click to login or to provide them with security information. These are always scams as your bank will never ask for such information in an email.

You need to have anti-virus installed on your computer and to keep it up to date. This will prevent the worst viruses getting into your computer but no software is infallible and you need to exercise caution as well – e.g. do not open attachments in email unless you know the person who sent it to you.  Two popular packages are from McAfee and Norton. There is also anti malware software available that can protect against a wider range of threats to your security.

The login pages of bank websites use secure access  (https) so a locked padlock or key symbol should appear in your browser window when accessing your bank site.

Using a Mobile Device

You can use the browser on your mobile device to access your bank’s website but it’s better to download and use the bank’s APP (make sure you download the official one). Keep the APP and the device up to date with all security updates.

Wi-Fi

You should ensure that your Wi-Fi at home uses a password rather than allowing open access.

There are numerous places such as restaurants, shopping centres, trains and buses that offer free Wi-Fi. Again you should only use this if it requires a password to login and you should avoid any financial transactions on public Wi-Fi

Scammers have been known to setup free Wi-Fi in town centres and use it to collect passwords and personal; information from users.

Banks

The banks use various methods to ensure the safety of your information and you should use these wherever possible.

Barclays has PINsentry which is a device that generates unique 8 digit code you use whenever you want to access your account. This is much stronger security than just a password.  Natwest recommends use of IBM Raport security software for better protection against online intrusion.  Lloyds use an anti-fraud process called Enhanced Internet Authentication (EIA) to help keep you safer online. Santander recommend downloading Trusteer Rapport which is free and has won awards for keeping customers’ details secure.

Check your bank statements regularly and contact your bank immediately if you spot any transactions that you didn’t authorise.

All of the banks put a lot of effort into trying to keep you safe with their online baking so follow their guidance.

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