Internet banking is convenient and simple which is why so many people use it. But, there are scammers out there looking to steal your personal and financial information. You can take steps to protect yourself from these crimes.
Australians use Internet banking regularly because of the ease of making these transactions. In a world where no one has a minute to spare and Internet access is everywhere it makes sense to do your banking transactions online. The downside to this is the constant threat of Internet scammers. These people target your online transactions, especially your online banking in order to steal your personal and financial data. But, you can outsmart them by taking some precautions when you bank online and being proactive in the fight to stop them in their tracks.
Internet Banking Card
The St.George Vertigo Visa offers a low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases with a low annual fee. This card is also ideal for shopping online as it comes with a free secure online shopping feature.
- $55 p.a. annual fee
- 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
How to use Internet banking safely:
- Use a secure computer.
- This means avoiding public computers and Internet cafes whenever possible as they are easily watched by scammers. They can even get your personal information off of the computer when you are done with it.
- On your own computer be sure to keep your anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software up to date.
- Also, make sure you log out from any bank website that you use and then clear the history on your browser.
- Protect your privacy.
- No matter how much you trust someone never share with them your PIN or password to your bank accounts.
- Choose your password carefully so that it is difficult for predators to figure out. This means avoiding things like your address and date of birth as well as combining both letters and numbers in it.
- You should change your password often.
- Use different passwords for each Internet banking account, rather then keeping one password for all purposes.
- Shred personal information and bank documents before you dispose of them.
- Make sure your transactions are secure.
- If your bank has an extra way for you to authorise your online transactions use it.
- Unless you initiated the call, never give out credit card, personal, or bank account information over the phone.
- Do not send any financial or personal information, including PIN or account numbers, in an email or an online chat. It is easy for these to be viewed by third parties.
- Keep a close eye on your account statements for any unauthorised activity.
- Watch out for predatory emails.
- Your bank or financial institution will not ever send you an email that asks for personal details. If you think an email like this is actually from your bank call them for verification first.
- If your bank calls you because they suspect fraud, ask for their number so you can call them back. Then, verify that the number is legitimate before you place the return call.
- If you get any unexpected email, never click on the link or open an attachment. Malicious software is one of the ways scammers can get your banking information.
- Never transfer money for someone unknown to you. This is a popular scam that asks you to transfer funds for a commission. These funds are stolen and you will be unwittingly transferring them to a criminal. Participation can cause you to be prosecuted.
- Learn about popular scams. There are scams that you should be familiar with in order to avoid falling victim to them. Keep in mind that these can be used against you personally or against your business.
- Phishing scams attempt to get your personal data by sending you fake emails from financial institutions.
- Fake fraud alerts come from scammers pretending to be your bank. They will ask for your account information and then use it to steal from you.
- Credit card scams attempt to steal your card details and then using it for unauthorised purposes.
A way Australians can get a handle on Internet banking scams is to file reports when they are victims. Even if you are able to avoid a scam you should still report the attempt to your bank and other appropriate authorities. This way the scammers can be stopped before they move on to their next target.