Though banks still exist on the high street banking is predominantly done online, whether you're adding or withdrawing funds.
Unfortunately, where there's money there will always be unscrupulous individuals trying to steal it. Therefore it is vital to take online banking very serious when it comes to your security.
Below you will find some tips on how you can help secure your online bank account.
There are several types of software you can use to secure your computer, including a firewall. It is not safe enough with only a firewall, you should also have antivirus software installed on your machine.
A firewall protects your computer from attacks over the Internet and within your network from hackers. The firewall also keeps track of the programs that try to send information to and receive information from the Internet. This means that if a program, such as a virus program, is attempting to send information from your computer, then the firewall will stop this until you have approved it.
If you are in doubt as to whether to allow a program to send information, you should always say no. A search on Google can often reveal if the application requesting access to the network is safe or not.
Windows computers come with a free built-in firewall, but this has limited features and a paid version is much better. Most security packages come with both anti-virus and firewall as standard.
A antivirus program checks the files you receive. If the program detects a virus it will isolate or remove that threat. You should adjust the program so that it monitors your computer all the time and not just when you start it.
Please check out our dedicated antivirus software page where we have dozens of free antivirus programs that can be downloaded.
By default your antivirus software should automatically update, so that it is able to stop the latest viruses threats. To be on the safe side, you should check whether this option is enabled.
Weaknesses in operating systems and applications are constantly being exposed. Therefore it is important that you secure yourself against these weaknesses as soon as they are discovered. You must update your software regularly. This also applies to applications you use to communication with the Web, such as:
Also remember media player software such as:
Always make sure you have installed the latest security patches from the software supplier.
There are many who are interested in what you do when you use your computer and the web. Unfortunately not everybody asks nicely for this information, but are spying on you instead.
Spyware is a program that is installed on your computer that you do not know about. The program keeps track of what you are doing on-line. What information is collected depends on the spyware. Some spyware will be interested in your email address, while others are interested in the statistics on which pages you visit most often. Such a program can also report personal information such as account numbers and passwords.
Spyware may have been installed along with other software that you have downloaded from the web and installed on your computer. You should therefore be very critical of who you accept software from. Spyware may also have been installed via a virus.
To protect yourself against spyware is fairly straightforward. Always remember to have installed on your PC:
Phishing is when fraudsters try to obtain your account information using false websites and emails. Such emails claim for example that there is a vulnerability in the bank's computer system, which asks you to provide personal and account information. Banks never send e-mails with questions about account information.