Security leaks, Trojan horses, phishing scams, viruses, worms, fraud, data swapping, at a glance the World Wide Web can appear to be a fraudster’s paradise and certainly not somewhere you should go near with your bank details.
However, despite the well-publicised risks most people shop and bank online without any such issues. Yes there are risks, but if you’re sensible you can stay secure.
Is your computer Safe ?
Staying safe online requires preparation and the first step is making sure your computer is up to the job.
You’ll need an up to date anti-virus and a firewall as the absolute minimum, although more comprehensive protection like anti-spyware is advisable.
Most major banks offer free security software that’s designed to protect your banking details and this is definitely worth using too – Trusteer Rapport is the most widely recommended by major UK banks.
Sadly mobile devices can also be targeted so if you’re browsing on the go you need to be confident that your phone or tablet can keep your details private.
Thankfully most of the major internet security services now offer mobile versions of their software and banks and building societies are beginning to offer useful, secure mobile apps which offer more protection than just logging on through a web browser on the go.
Is the Website real or legit?
Although it can be tricky to tell if a website is trustworthy there are some key indicators that you can use to assess them, including:
- Poorly written content
- Unrelated images appearing on the site
- Out of date security certificates
- Incorrect URL, have you been re-directed elsewhere?
- Invalid contact details
- Poor reviews
Does the website have “The Lock”
Thankfully there is an easy way for us all to tell when we are browsing on a secured network, the http: at the start of the web address will change to https: . This stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and ensures that your personal details are not being snooped upon.
You should always check you are on a secure https connection before sharing any of your banking details.
If you have any worried ValiantIT may be able to help you.