Internet Banking Safety
Nov 2009: This page was created over a year ago. Most of the
information will prove helpful, but you must learn all you can to protect
your banking while online. Find out if your bank has any added safety
features you can use for online banking. Make sure that your Windows
updates are current and that you are using a good, up-to-date Anti-Virus
Program. Also choose a good password and change it often.
Using the internet for banking is a great convenience. The
ease at which you can move money could allow you to park surplus dollars
into an interest earning or mortgage account. Internet banking can also
save you money on some transaction fees.
As with most things using the internet for your banking
is a two edged sword. On the one hand it makes life simplier. On the other
hand, there are some real dangers. Read on and learn how to help protect your
assets when banking online.
We checked the websites of 4 Australian banks to see
what safety suggestions they offered. We were happy to see that 3 of the
banks offered levels of safety that went beyond suggestions for firewalls,
anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs. The banks we looked at were ANZ
Bank of Queensland, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank.
Suggestions Common to All Banks
Always enter the website by typing the banks web address
into the address bar.
Don't click on a link from another website or from
an email. If you want to go to the Bank of Dreamland type the address in
your browser. Don't click on a www.bankofdreamland.com.
The sender of the email or author of the webpage can create a link that
sends you to a phishing site.
password is just like the PIN for your ATM
card. A bad guy could use it to take money from your account. It should
always be kept confidential. You should never reveal it to anyone. You
should never write it down. You should change it often. Use a strong
password, If possible it
should be a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. It should never
be a persons name, a birthday or a word that is in the dictionary.
The banks offer certain guarantees of security. If
there is an unauthorized transaction you may not be responsible. Check
with your bank and read the agreement so you understand your rights and
The Australian Government, ASIC, has information on your
rights involving unauthorized transactions. It also offers tips on safe
internet banking. The website changes often so you'll have to look
Additional Security Features
Besides the normal password feature some banks offer
extra features. They may add some time to the procedure, but the added
security is worth it. Banks are always improving these features so
checking with your bank is a good idea. On 24 October 2007 the following
ANZ:( www.anz.com.au )
Currently no extra features
Bank of Queensland: (www.boq.com.au)
Security Token: a small
electronic device that delivers a one-off code. You will have to
enter the code generated by the device along with your password. This is
only available for larger transactions. Check with the bank.
NetCode SMS: an additional
one-off password. It is sent to your phone when you want to make a
transaction. You enter the code along with your standard password.
Security Token: a small electronic device that delivers a one-off code.
You use it like the NetCode SMS
National Australia Bank (www.nab.com.au)
SMS Payment Security: when
making a payment outside your own accounts a onetime password is sent via
SMS. You enter this and the transaction continues.
Password Lock: You lock your password. When you want to do internet
banking you first unlock the password by ringing the bank and using your
phone bank password. This way if the bad guy has your internet banking
password he would still need your phone banking password.
If young people use the computer
or you like downloading from the internet you might consider 2 computers.
One for business and banking and one for aggressive web surfing. When you
download from the internet you are never really sure of what you are going
to get. What looks like a fun program or video could be used to disguise
malware. The malware could compromise your computer's security. A
compromised computer and internet banking is a dangerous combination. A
second computer might seem like an expensive option, but a reasonable
price to pay for protecting your assets.
Should You Use Internet Banking?
This is a personal decision, but there
are many safeguards in place now to make it safe,
you are always on your guard for unscrupulous types of people and their