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Online & Mobile Banking – How to bank safely online or via mobile

Fraud attempts come in various shapes and forms and can be over the phone, online or face to face.

Safe Online Banking

Internet banking is a very convenient and efficient way to conduct your banking needs. With an increasing number of attempts by fraudsters to gain access to customers’ money, it is important that you protect yourself against online threats. Below is some key advice on how to protect yourself and stay safe online.

Key Advice

  1. Never disclose banking details or personal information in response to an email, phone call or letter claiming to be from your bank or other financial institution. Your bank will never email asking you to divulge such information as your full PIN or passwords. If you are unsure if an email is genuine, contact your bank immediately via other means.
  2. Your bank will never send you an email with a link to a page that asks you to enter your online banking details.
  3. Always make sure you are using a secure internet connection to connect to your bank. Never use free public Wi-Fi or hotspots. This may not be secure and your online banking could be eavesdropped or subject to Wi-Fi sniffing.
  4. Look for ‘https’ at the beginning of the address and the padlock symbol in the browser frame.
  5. Only ever visit your bank’s website by entering the address into your browser or using a bookmark you have created using the correct address.
  6. Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you log in to your bank account.
  7. Use strong passwords and PINs and never reveal them to anyone or write them down to remember them. Use a secure password manager to help you to remember the number of passwords you hold.
  8. Always check your statements, and if you notice any unusual transactions, report them immediately.
  9. Get the latest software updates for your device, install up to date antivirus software and run regular scanning of your PC/ laptop. Also install and regularly update firewall software.
  10. Be careful when using public computers to access online banking.
  11. Always log out of internet banking sessions once you have finished.
  12. Be aware when using the internet in busy public areas, check for people looking over your shoulder viewing your screen, so called ‘shoulder surfers’.

Safe mobile banking

Mobile banking apps are now available from most banks and are a very secure and convenient way to accessing banking services. Similar to banking online, there are some simple ways to protect yourself from fraud.

Key Advice

  1. Similar to online banking from a computer, choose, use and protect passwords with great care. Use passwords which are not easily guessed by fraudsters.
  2. Make sure your smartphone or tablet is always protected with a PIN and set the device to automatically lock.
  3. Don’t store your banking PINs or passwords on your smartphone or tablet.
  4. Only download mobile apps from official App stores, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Blackberry App World. Check reviews and recommendations before downloading.
  5. Keep banking and other apps on your device regularly updated.
  6. Always log out of your banking app or mobile website when you have finished using it. Closing the app or web page or turning off your device may not be sufficient.
  7. Regularly clear your browser’s cache – some mobile phones and tablets store copies of web pages that may contain your banking information.
  8. Always keep your mobile phone’s operating system updated with the latest upgrades. Older software may have vulnerabilities that could expose you to security and fraud risks.
  9. Do not use unsecured public Wi-Fi networks or hotspots for internet banking. Use a 3G or 4G internet connection instead.
  10. Download, use and keep updated one of the many reputable internet security apps for your device.
  11. Use a reputable brand of antivirus software on your mobile phone and check your device’s security settings to ensure maximum protection.
  12. Do not jailbreak your device or use a jailbroken device for internet as this may significantly weaken the security of your phone and expose you to fraud.
  13. Beware of emails, texts or phone calls claiming to be from your bank or the Gardaí that say you have a problem with your account or request your login or other confidential details. Your bank or other authentic organisation would never request these details.