Online banking security Online banking security tips

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This article, Online banking security, was last updated on 15 September 2011 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Money articles.

Tips for protecting your bank account 

Banking online

Make sure you have up-to-date security software and a strong password

  • Regularly log in and check your statement, looking for unusual transactions. Immediately report unfamiliar items to your bank. 

Make sure others can't access your bank account

  • Never leave your computer unattended when logged in, and always log out properly when you've finished your banking session.
  • Avoid public computers for online banking.
  • Make sure your wi-fi network is secure, to prevent unauthorised users accessing it.

Protect your bank account by keeping it up to date

  • Install the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software, use an effective firewall and keep them all up to date. Install Rapport if your bank offers it.
  • Keep your operating system (eg Windows) up to date. You can do this by setting your computer to receive and install updates automatically via the internet.
  • Keep your web browser (eg Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox) up to date. Your browser provider's website will have details.

Take care of your banking security details

  • Don't write your passwords down in full or share them with anyone.
  • Never respond to emails or phone calls that purport to be from your bank and ask for your security information.
  • Don't open emails from unknown sources as they may contain a virus.
  • Connect to your online banking site by entering the URL in your web browser – don't click on a link in an email.

Report phishing emails

Know your banking rights

  • Banking regulations say that a bank can only refuse a refund for an unauthorised transaction if it can prove you authorised the transaction or that you acted fraudulently or were grossly negligent in failing to protect your Pin and password. 
  • If your bank refuses to refund you, take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  It will look at each case on its merits.