There was quite a bit in the media late last year with regards to the Bankers' Association's new Code of Banking Practice, and in particular were the banks passing the buck to their customers and not taking any responsibility themselves.
Since then we've fielded many enquiries from current and prospective customers about online security and what they should do/be aware of.
From our perspective we see it very much as a two-way street and not about customers carrying the can, and like a lot of things in life it comes down to good common sense. Here's what I recommend you should be doing to protect your online account and your online identity:
Never divulge your account number, PIN codes, or passwords to anyone. Memorise the details if you can, but if you need to write them down, store each in a separate location.
Never send sensitive financial information to your bank using regular e-mail. If your bank offers a secure e-mail facility use it every time.
Use updated Anti-Virus Software. We strongly recommend that you protect your computer from viruses by installing and regularly updating firewall and anti-virus software.
Activate a Pop-Up Window Blocker. Blockers are often part of anti-virus and firewall Internet security packages. When you have installed your pop-up blocker you may want to adjust the setting to allow pop-up windows in websites that you trust and need to access.
Scan your computer for Spyware regularly. You can eliminate potentially risky pop-up windows by removing any spyware or adware installed on your computer.
Spyware and adware are programs that look in on your web viewing activity and potentially relay information to a disreputable source. Perform an Internet search for "spyware" or "adware" to find free spyware removal programs.
As with a pop-up blocker, you will want to be sure that your removal program is not blocking, or removing, wanted items, and if it is, consider turning it off for some websites.
Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources. Downloads may contain hidden programs that can compromise your computer's security. Likewise, e-mail attachments from unknown senders may contain harmful viruses.
For full details on our suggested best practices please take a look at our Security FAQs.
And remember it's not only about people accessing your money fraudulently. They can do as much damage simply through stealing your identity so make sure your online bank is providing you with the maximum levels of security for both!