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News Room

Is Internet Banking Safe?

Compare Guru
2017-04-03
How safe are your internet banking habits? Do you fall prey to cybercriminals by not taking enough precaution? Find out what you should do.
How safely do you do your internet banking? And, what are your rights when / if you are a victim of fraud?
According to Charl Ueckermann, CEO at AVeS Cyber Security, "Financial institutions are obliged to provide secure mechanisms for their customers. And, consumers must protect their personal information and interests".

How Risky Is Your Internet Banking Behaviour?

Ueckermann says most financial institutions offer stringent online security on their websites. They also offer a commitment that protects their customers, while using their online banking features. This is to guarantee the consumer's protection from a potential loss, as a result of an unauthorised transaction while using the online banking service. Find out what security measures your bank has in place to protect you while banking online. These include all online banking service commitments and unauthorised transactions (fraud).
"Consumers have the right to ask what mechanisms their bank has in place to protect their personal information, as well as their money when they transact online. Bear in mind that cyber criminals make it their business to stay a step ahead of their targets. So, choose a bank that takes its online security very seriously," says Ueckermann. "People should also take the time to read their bank's online banking, or electronic access, agreement. This to check that they are meeting all the bank's requirements, for when banking online. Some banks may require users to install a specific security tool, or add-on, to the computer or device they use to transact online."
Remember, it is also your responsibility to always keep your banking information, user IDs, passwords, and PIN numbers confidential.
"If you give your online banking details to anyone, it comes with the risk of losing whatever protection your bank offers against unauthorised transactions. This could result in you being responsible for any unauthorised transactions on your account. And, you won't be refunded for your loss," warns Ueckermann.

How To Make Your Online Banking Safer

  1. Keeping PINs, passwords, and personal verification questions secret.
  2. Always logging off the banking website properly and closing the browser completely after each and every online banking session.
  3. Installing tools and security add-ons, provided by the financial institution, to make online banking features more secure.
  4. Making sure the IT security software on computers and devices used for Internet banking are up-to-date.
  5. Avoiding the use of free WiFi hotspots to access the Internet for online banking.
  6. Not opening attachments in unsolicited emails. This could activate the installation of malware on your computer.
  7. Using encrypted sites, where possible, and checking for the little padlock symbol in the address bar. Banks' official online banking sites are encrypted.
  8. Never entering personal information onto a website from an external link or pop-up. First, open a new browser window and type the URL directly into the address bar to ensure the site is legitimate
  9. Making sure financial providers can deliver information about the latest security trends, and security mechanisms, in place to protect consumers from being exposed to hackers.
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