7 Tips for Safe Online Banking ...

Do you need some tips for safe online banking? Online banking is a very convenient way to handle financial matters, but you do need to do everything possible to protect your account. Most users of online banking will not experience problems, but it's important not to take chances. Here are some tips for safe online banking …

1. Secure Your Computer

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One of the most important tips for safe online banking is to ensure that your computer is well protected. Keep your antivirus program up to date, and check that your firewall is on. When logging in to your bank's website, always check that the 'padlock' symbol is shown in your browser, to show that you are going to a secure site.

2. Avoid Public Wifi

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It might be convenient to use public WiFi, but it's not safe to use for banking or financial transactions. Fraudsters may have set up a fake connection and can easily intercept your data. Use your own mobile phone network instead for anything that involves sensitive information that you wouldn't want people to access, or wait until you get home.

3. Keep Passwords Safe

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Do you find it hard to remember your banking passwords? It may be tempting to write them down as a reminder, but there's a risk of someone finding them. Choose a password that you can remember, and don't pick anything obvious like your children's name or date of birth. Also avoid using the same password for more than one site.

4. Phishing Scams

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Phishing scams are messages that pretend to be from your bank. These will often ask you to 'verify' your details by clicking on a link. If you don't have an account with that bank you won't be fooled, but the message will reach some people who do bank with them. Never click on a link in an email; the fraudsters will have created a web page that looks very like your bank's website and will capture your login details. Type your bank's address into the browser manually.

5. Check Your Account

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It's wise to keep a close eye on your account, so check it regularly. That way you will become aware of any unusual transactions as quickly as possible and can alert your bank. Scrutinise your statement carefully (online or paper), as fraudsters sometimes try first with a small amount to see if you will notice. If you don't, they then take larger amounts.

6. Mobile Banking

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Many people find it convenient to use their smartphone for banking and financial transactions. If you do, then pay as much attention to security as you do with your home computer. Update your operating system and ensure that your phone has up-to-date antivirus protection. Keep your phone protected with a PIN and don't switch off security controls.

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You should only ever use your bank's official app if you use your phone for online banking. Also, if you use other types of apps, only ever download them from official stores. Using unofficial sites could mean that you unwittingly download a virus to your phone or tablet.

It's very useful to be able to log on and quickly check your balance or send a payment, so internet banking is a positive development. With some sensible precautions, your internet banking experience should go smoothly. Do you think that bank branches are obsolete in this online age?

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