Online Banking – Your Responsibility
Online banking is a very secure and convenient way to access your bank's services. However, you need to be wary of fraudsters trying to gain access to your account. This is usually by trying to dupe you into handing over security information such as your username, passwords or your memorable information.
The banks say 'if you don't have it, you could be liable'
If you're not protected and someone uses your computer to get passwords, or accesses your bank account or other financial products, you may find it harder to get a refund.
The burden of proof's on the bank to show you didn't act with care, but it's best to be safe.
It’s fairly simple to ensure your account is not vulnerable to any particular attack.
When logging into your bank account online, most banks allow you to “remember your computer.” You can then bypass a few security questions when the bank recognizes your computer’s IPv4 address, a unique identifier for each internet connection. Hackers can spoof your IPv4 address or even use malware to hijack your computer so you don’t even know it’s accessing your bank account. It’s best to disable the “remember your computer” feature. It’s a little bit of a pain, but it’s much more secure.
Know all the main threats?
Threats to your computer come in different guises with various funky names. Collectively, they're considered malicious software, or "malware". The main types are:
Viruses. Hidden programs that wreak havoc
These are transmitted via websites, email attachments, directly over the internet or via any other removable media. They hide in applications or files and spread from computer to computer, generally wreaking havoc wherever they get the chance.
Trojans. Bugs within harmless-looking files
Trojan (horses) are hidden within a harmless-looking file (eg, a picture of a celebrity) or program (ironically, they're often dressed up as antivirus tools). They aim to trick the user into installing malicious software, like spyware or adware.
Worms. Can drill in via open web connections
Worms take advantage of any open internet connection. They try to sneak in and replicate on the computer. Once loaded, they often start to send spam email from your computer without your knowledge.
How to bank safely online
Never login to your bank website through a link in an email, even if the email appears to have come from your bank. Type the web address into your browser yourself.
The login pages of bank websites are secured through an encryption process, so a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol should appear in your browser window when accessing your bank site.
The beginning of your bank's internet address will change from 'http' to 'https' when a secure connection is made.
•Be wary of any unexpected or suspicious looking pop-ups that appear during your online banking session.
•Stop and think about the process you normally go through to make a payment to someone – be suspicious if it differs from the last time you used it.
•Fraudsters sometimes try to trick people into making a real payment by claiming "it's just a test".
•Never give anyone your login details in full either by email or over the phone – your bank will never request these in this way.
•Check the online banking security options your bank provides.
•Check your bank statements regularly and contact your bank immediately if you spot any transactions that you didn't authorise.
•When sending money via your online bank account, always double check the amount you are sending as well as the account number and sort code you are sending it to.
•Make sure your bank has your up-to-date contact details.
•Browsers often come with security features built in. Make sure they are activated, and updated.
Three main things to remember:
- Always have an internet security package installed, activated, and up-to-date. Free is good, but full security suites now offer safer banking with features like anti-phishing features and virtual keyboards.
- Always make sure your PC, MAC or Mobiles software is up-to-date with the latest updates and patches.
- Never give out your details to anyone over the phone, or click on ANY links in an email to do with your personal or financial information.
In the UK, the Financial Fraud Action UK Say:
“Warning to customers to download anti-virus software as remote banking fraud losses rise 42 per cent”.
Criminals also use malware and viruses to steal information from infected computers. They then use stolen passwords and other personal details to commit fraud on bank accounts. FFA UK continues to advise members of the public and businesses to regularly update their computer security software and to be careful not to open suspicious links or emails.