A website url with a green lock icon and it starting with httpsSome banks let you manage your finances online. You can make transactions or check your account balance when it suits you from anywhere in the world – you don’t have to wait till your local branch is open. However, it means criminals may try different ways to access your bank account online.

Challenges of online banking

Here are some ways that criminals might try and get your personal or financial information.

Hoax messages – you may get emails, text messages or internet popups that send you to fake websites. These websites might ask you for personal information.

A popup appearing on computer screen that says You Win enter your email to receive prizeMalware – also known as ‘malicious software’ - you may accidentally download harmful software that can track which websites you visit. The malware might record your keystrokes (what you type on your keyboard/keypad) including passwords, logins or other personal information. If your computer or device is infected, you should stop using it and take it to a computer specialist to safely remove the software.

Fake phone surveys – you may get unwanted phone calls from people you don’t know. They will try and trick you into sharing personal information.

Website scams – you may get offers that seem too good to be true. They usually are!

Top tips

You can avoid becoming a victim by knowing how to protect your personal and financial information.

  • Lock your smartphone with a pin. A pin is usually four numbers. Make it hard for others to guess your pin. Try not to use obvious choices like the date of your birthday.
  • Log out of your account or app when you have finished banking.
  • Only download apps from the official stores.
  • Install anti-virus software on your devices and make sure your systems are up to date.
  • Use a strong password and keep it private.
  • Read the privacy policies of the websites and apps you use.