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The security dangers of internet banking

Posted In Security, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 With No Comments »

Although online banking is generally a secure and safe way to conduct your financial affairs, the growing prevalence of online hackers and viruses means that there are now increasing threats to your private details.

One of the main ways in which criminals access personal banking details is through viruses and bugs. In 2012 the BBC reported that criminals were using bugs to hack into private bank accounts. These bugs appeared similar to internet banking pages, tricking customers into thinking they were entering their details into a legitimate site. Once the customer had logged into their account, money was then taken out, with little they could do to stop it.

Other viruses used by criminals track keystrokes on your computer so they can essentially read your password as you type it in. These viruses usually enter your computer as a Trojan, either via an email, website or download and sit in your computer stealing personal information. As the level of sophistication with viruses increases it becomes more difficult for customers to recognize the signs associated with them. However, if you do notice any strange activity or purchases it is important to shut down your computer immediately and report such issues to your bank.

Another means by which criminals access personal details is by sending sophisticated emails which appear as though they have been legitimately sent from a bank. You’ve probably seen the warnings numerous times about fraudulent emails which have been doing the rounds alongside the reminder that “we will not ask you for any personal information via email.” Despite these warnings, customers still respond to fake emails, due to their sophisticated replication of standard bank emails. These emails are known as phishing scams and usually require you to reset their security information via a link. Once a customer clicks the link they are usually asked to fill in personal information such as card numbers and expiry dates. Once completed the criminal has all the information required to access an account. Although banks continually warn customers about such practice, the realistic emails and links fool increasing numbers of people each year. It is always important to remember to never respond to an email by your bank and if you do, notify them immediately so they are aware of fraudulent activity in your account.

As criminal activity grows in sophistication, so too does the protection from banks. It is important to be aware of such practices and to notify your bank immediately if you think you have been targeted. Most banks will refund you any stolen funds in order to cause you the least amount of stress but you should be mindful of any activity which seems out of character. You can also take further precautions when conducting business online, such as implementing secure file transfer practices and ensuring that your antivirus software is up to date.

Author bio:

Cristian is a network security specialist working as a consultant for many financial institutions and telecom operators. In this opinion, online banking is still one of the safest and convenient ways to conduct banking and banks are continually updating their software to ensure maximum protection for customers. All you need to do is stay vigilant and take extra steps to make sure your personal information stays private and confidential.

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