How safe is online banking now?

  [DELETED] 16:13 09 Oct 2003

Should I be concerned about banking online after reading the article in the Glasgow Herald today. should I shut down my accounts right now or am I over-reacting?

click here

  [DELETED] 16:50 09 Oct 2003

Online banking itself is safe, and the banks will do all they can to keep their customers and to encourage them to use it. Including paying out should you be a victim of fraud.

Precautions should be taken. No-one will ever ask for your password so don't give it to them. It will be VERY rare to get an email from a Bank or similar asking you to visit a site and verify your details. If you do then the best thing to do is to go to the banks homepage using the URL that you know and login from their. DO NOT click and links given in any emails.

To should down your accounts would be over reacting.

  [DELETED] 16:53 09 Oct 2003

I think you are over-reacting.

Barclays have this to say to their customers when logging into the online banking:-

"SECURITY ALERT: Please read this important message

Keep your banking details secret

Banking online with Barclays is safe and secure. Unfortunately, fraudsters are trying to trick some customers into revealing their personal details.

Please follow these essential rules at all times:

NEVER divulge your full memorable word or other banking details. Remember, Barclays only requests TWO characters from your memorable word when you log on to Online Banking and would never send emails requesting you to update your security details.

ALWAYS check that the website address at the top of your screen starts with 'https'. This lets you know the site is secure and tells you your details are being kept confidential.

If you are concerned that you may have disclosed any confidential information, or have any concerns about security, please contact our Online Banking Helpdesk on 0845 600 2323. Lines are open 7am-11pm, seven days a week.

For further information, please read our advice on Online Security (click here)"

The scams are targeting other organisations as well. E-Bay (click here) have been the victim of fraudsters who sent out e-mails to various people asking them to put their login name and password in in order to verify their account. The fraudsters then use this information to gain access to the victim's e-bay account.

Online bank security is very good and as long as you make sure that you have followed Barclays Bank's advice above then you should be fine.



  [DELETED] 17:33 09 Oct 2003

According to the press the internet chat rooms are full of nothing but paedophiles ready to groom and pounce on unsuspecting kids. As I sit here the TV news reports claims by such a paedophiles defence team that the internet was to blame for his actions (!!)

The BBC recently claimed in a program that GOOGLE keep tabs on "every person who uses the internet" .

Yes there are crooks out there and yes some of them do use the internet but provided you take reasonable precautions you are safe.

  [DELETED] 20:02 09 Oct 2003

Your news clip isn't just banking on-line, it concerns travel agencies. Since the days of Freddy Laker it has been wiser to book with credit card.
Your internet a/c's are not 100% secure against hackers, but are still probably safer than with any system apart from personal dealings at the local bank counter.

  [DELETED] 20:16 09 Oct 2003

Reading the article you link to it looks very like the spoof MS emails which lead people to a fake site and downloading a patch which turns out to be a virus. Any emails from your banker which involve using your password and pin number should be checked with your banker, either by phone or email. Thankyou for drawing attention to this latest scam.

  powerless 20:31 09 Oct 2003

Gandalph will tell all...

But the fact that it is available, tells me everything i need to know.

  Bald Eagle 04:34 10 Oct 2003

I run 3 bank accounts on line and (touch wood) have never had problems with security. However, the levels of security vary. One bank requires a 10 digit number and password, this is followed by a random one of three questions that only I know the answers to. The next needs full name, postcode, date of birth (in drop downs, apparently harder to trace if hacking), mothers name and a password. The worst is my French account. I set it up via "open" e mail. It just needs my account number and a six digit number, which until I changed it was based on my date of birth! Not very good. There is no way I would divulge anything about these accounts via the internet.

  Forum Editor 07:07 10 Oct 2003

was always going to be a rich hunting ground for criminals - at least for those with enough intelligence to understand the possibilities. Fraud and deception can flourish in a medium that sees tens of millions of messages flashing around the planet every day, and of course there will be no shortage of victims.

The way to stay safe is to employ a healthy dose of common sense when dealing with any request for sensitive information, and the advice given by Barclays bank is good. The https at the beginning of any url which asks for banking details tells you you're on a secure server.

Secure web servers are about as safe an environment as you can get - certainly safer than a telephone line - in which to exchange sensitive information, and you have to make a personal judgment when contemplating internet banking. Either you are going to use the service or you are not - convenience versus wariness.

I do all my banking online, and I've never had a scare yet. I designed an Internet banking site for a German bank's far east operation a couple of years ago, and that involved me in a very sharp learning curve in terms of the lengths banks go to when protecting customer's data. I came away from the project feeling that internet banking was about as safe as it could be using current technology.

  Stuartli 09:47 10 Oct 2003

I check my Halifax account online on a regular basis and have never experienced any problems over several years, part from once forgetting one of my secondary passwords.

The website has recently posted a warning about the e-mail scams with regard to Barclays etc.

If I get a username, password or secondary password wrong the website will not accept the link - three times and it won't work at all and you have/had to ring up and correct the situation; a thorough security check is carried out first.

However, Halifax has just changed the system so you can log on eventually if you forget your password etc but it takes at least two hours to be able to do so.

Most people never worry about giving debit/credit card details over the phone, yet it seems to me that this is far more open to potential abuse than OE's 128-bit encrypted security and bank websites' own measures when sending information.

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