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Online Banking, Is It Really Safe?

Just as you would never walk into an unscrupulous backstreet store and hand over your credit card details, so you shouldn’t on the web either.


Online Banking is an Internet-based service that provides you a safe and convenient way to do your banking. With Online Banking, you can view your account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, apply for other accounts, reorder checks and more.  Is Online Banking safe?  It can be safe, but, in order to really know for sure you need to check with your bank to see what security features they offer and if they are using the best softare and encryption services available.  Make sure your banks system meets the latest security standards, including using the most up-to-date encryption methods, software and firewalls. In addition, make sure your actual account number is not sent across the Internet.


The key to keeping your details safe online is to approach your online transactions with the same amount of vigilance and care that you would exercise in a normal bricks-and-mortar environment.


Establish the legitimacy and security of the website you are visiting:


    * Check that the web address is correct and that you were not redirected. You can check this by looking at the website address and ensuring it is the one you typed in.

    * Make sure that the website is legitimate. This can be validated by checking the Verisign seal that appears on the website.

    * Make sure that you are transacting in a secure environment: Check for the closed padlock and the “s” in the web address: https://…… Keep checking that these details appear on each new page, even after you have logged in.


Safeguard your access details:


    * Keep your access details (user ID and password) secret and never use easy-to-guess passwords.

    * Change your access details (user ID and password) regularly.

    * Don’t allow the browser software, eg. Internet Explorer, to save your access details.

    * Always log off after transacting.

    * Do not send emails containing your credit card information and always safeguard your bank cards.


Be cautious about the environment in which you choose to shop/bank online:


    * Never do internet banking or make online purchases from a public internet cafe / kiosk.


Be cautious about the websites you visit:


    * Only transact on reputable websites.

    * Read the security policy on the website before you transact.

    * Never click on a link that is contained in an email to go to a website you want to visit. Type in the website address (URL) yourself.

    * Don’t respond to specials that arrive via email from an unknown sender. Always know who you are doing business with.




    * Check your bank statements carefully and report any suspicious transactions immediately. The credit card “Terms and Conditions”, typically stipulate that customers have 30 days from the date of receiving their statement in which to dispute a transaction on their account.

    * Be creative when thinking up passwords to ensure increased security.  Make sure you write down or print out all passwords and usernames.

    * Use your credit card with reputable suppliers who are proven to have safe and secure sites.

    * Make sure that your anti-virus software is updated regularly.

    * Never respond to any suspicious emails requesting your banking or personal information. Your bank will never ask for customer information in this manner.

    * If you are unsure about any security issues call your bank immediately.

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