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Internet banking safety tips

Internet banking is a handy management tool for your finances, but there's often some concern about the security of banking online. There have been known cases of fraud where hackers have accessed information through the internet - if you don't want to be the one hacked, follow these simply steps.

Know what site you're not.

Never access your online banking site from a link sent to you. Always type in the web address for your provider and log in from there - never access the site from e-mails, text messages or even from another site claiming to be linked to your bank. This will prevent you accidentally typing your information into malicious websites.

Keep passwords safe.

Never disclose your password or secret pin to anyone. Your bank will never ask you for your full pin, not when you're logging on and not when you ring them up.

Be discrete about money making scams.

The internet is crawling with money making scams to take advantage of internet banking customers. Don't be conned into quick money making schemes and treat your online bank account like your wallet - you wouldn't hand that over to a stranger so don't hand anything to do with your online bank account over to someone online.

Keep your computer secure.

Make sure your anti-virus is up to date and you run frequent scans. It's not enough to install a virus programme and forget about it; anti-virus databases are updated daily with new virus detection information so make sure you allow your software to update automatically whenever it needs to. If you use Windows, keep your Windows Firewall on when accessing internet banking services.

Check your statements.

You can check your statements instantly with internet banking. If you check your statements frequently you can actually help prevent and detect fraud by spotting suspicious transactions on your account. If you see anything strange, contact your bank immediately; many fraudulent attempts start with a small amount being withdrawn or placed into your account before a larger transaction is carried out.

Check your connection.

When you enter a secure connection the web address should change from "http://" to "https://". Make sure your web address is "https://" when you're using internet banking as this ensures you're on a safe and secure connection.

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