Net banking: how to protect yourself online
11 October 2017
Net banking is an everyday part of our lives now; from checking balances, to transferring money for last night's dinner, to mobile banking on the run. And the hesitance that initially came with online banking has dissipated for most. But with more and more of our banking and financial transactions conducted online, there are inherent risks that everyone should be aware of and know to protect themselves from.
Maintain a healthy password system
Having a system for creating and maintaining passwords is a great first step to protecting yourself when banking online. One way to do this is by setting up a two-tier password system. This involves keeping your high risk and low risk online areas separate. For example, having complex passwords, passphrases or two-factor authentication for online banking and payments and having more simple 'easy-access' passwords for newsletters and non-confidential information. Differentiating the two areas (high risk and low risk) can also help you to remember and safeguard multiple passwords.
Watch out for scams
While nearly all banks have created safe environments to conduct your online banking through, (including secure banking apps, secure sessions, security tokens and firewalls) it's when online scammers persuade people outside of these systems that there tends to be trouble. Even the best online banking system isn't foolproof and they generally can't protect you from yourself. Inadvertently handing over personal information in the form of login or bank account details is one way for scammers to steal from you. This commonly occurs through phishing and phishing scams.
A phishing scam is where someone obtains your personal details by tricking you into handing them over. Some phishing scams can be very cleverly disguised as legitimate websites and online communications. For example, you might receive an email appearing to be from your bank, asking you to update your login details or check your account details by clicking a link. Clicking the link then takes you to a website that resembles your bank, but isn't.
Once there, the malicious site will ask you to login, and once you've handed over your details, scammers then have access to your account. How can you avoid these types of phishing scams? Never download or click on a link in an email that is not from a trusted source. Banks – and other financial organisations – will never ask you to change your details or login through an email link, so this should signal danger.
Secure yourself on the go with mobile banking
The prevalence of smartphones and easily accessible banking apps have made it even easier to access your bank accounts and conduct your banking online, all from the palm of your hand. So it's easy to forget that your mobile device is now simply a small computer, and many of the usual protection methods apply.
When using mobile banking, make sure to utilise touch ID or finger scanning technology on your tablet or smartphone, if it's available. This technology requires your unique fingerprint (available with compatible devices on the Suncorp Bank mobile app) to get access to the device and it means you don't have to remember a password. If you use a numerical passcode to get access to your mobile device, ensure that you use a different passcode on each device. Mobile banking with Suncorp Bank uses a range of security options, such as real time fraud monitoring, secure encryption and two-factor authentication – identifying both the password and device as yours.
You can protect yourself when banking online by taking steps to ensure your online security:
- Maintaining a healthy password system: including updating your passwords regularly and using two-factor authentication or finger scanning technology
- Be aware and stay vigilant against online scams – if an email seems suspicious don't open it
- Keep your banking apps and computer software up-to-date for all your devices.
With Suncorp Bank's comprehensive security measures in place, you can feel confident with your online and mobile banking security. We also provide a security guarantee for unauthorised transactions made on your accounts (provided you've complied with the terms and conditions). We've also compiled a list of safe banking tips to further help you protect yourself. For more, see how Suncorp Bank protects your money when banking online.
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product