Banking online or on mobile can be very convenient – especially when you can’t get to a bank during banking hours, but you need to be careful not to fall victim to fraud.
Simple Steps For Safer Online Banking
Keep your passwords and Personal Identification Number (PIN) confidential. Don’t tell your family or friends and never give anyone your full login details. Your bank or the police will never request these either, particularly not over the phone or via email.
Look for a locked padlock in your browser’s address bar when you log in to your account. If the padlock is on the page and not in the address bar or browser window, the site is likely to be fraudulent.
- Check the URL starts with https. The beginning of your bank’s internet address will change from ‘http’ to ‘https’ when a secure connection is made.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected pop-up windows that appear during your online banking session.
- Check any changes to your bank’s website. If the site looks different to normal, or the process for logging in or making a payment has changed, be suspicious. If necessary, call you bank to check the site is genuine.
- Activate security features in your browser, if possible.
- Use free anti-virus and browser security software if your bank offers it.
- Install a phishing filter, like SmartScreen for Internet Explorer, which warns you when it detects a distrustful website.
- Always double check the amount and account details of a payee when making a payment or transferring money. When shopping online, check your details, quantity, address and product information before confirming.
- Keep a record of your purchase details including the time, date, receipt number, and order confirmation. If you cannot export a copy, take a screenshot of these purchase details.
- Always log out of your bank’s website when you are finished, or close the app. Always log off shared computers.
- Check your bank statement regularly and contact your bank immediately if there are any transactions you didn’t make.
- Give your bank your up-to-date contact details – particularly your mobile number, so they can contact you quickly if they suspect fraud on your account.
- Always password-protect your phone, tablet, computer and email accounts with secure passwords that other people won’t guess.
- 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 the browser yourself. There are many email scams that try to steal your banking information or get you to download software that will spy on you when you make online purchases. Emails that are designed to gather personal information like this are known as phishing emails. Thousands of them are sent out in the hope of catching a victim who parts with their confidential information. The emails usually look like they are from banks or well-known companies and can be quite convincing. However, legitimate companies, including all banks, will never send you an email with a link requesting your login, password, or card details. If you think the email may be from your bank, type the web address in the email directly into the browser rather than clicking on a link.
Know it? Put your knowledge to the test with our Suspect or Safe Quiz!