Top ten tips for safe online bankingFind out how to keep safe in Get Safe Online week

09 November 2011

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One in four web users log on to online banking every day

Online banking is more popular than ever. Take the opportunity in Get Safe Online week to make sure you know how to protect yourself from fraud. 

Two thirds of Which? members access their bank online every week. And, according to research from, the education campaign for payments, Brits make 110 visits per year to their online banking website with one in four web users logging in every day. 

Although statistics show that online banking fraud has fallen by 32% over the last year, online banking users still need to be vigilant.  

Criminal gangs are constantly inventing new ways to get their hands on your money and you can help stem the tide by following some simple steps. 

10 Tips to protect yourself from online banking fraud

  • Regularly log in and check your statement, looking for unusual transactions.  Immediately report unfamiliar items to your bank
  • Never respond to emails or phone calls that purport to be from your bank and ask for your security information
  • 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
  • Don't open emails from unknown sources as they may contain a virus
  • Install the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software, use an effective firewall, and keep them all up to date.
  • Keep your operating system up to date.  You can do this by setting your computer to receive and install updates automatically via the internet
  • Keep your web browser up to date.
  • Don't write your passwords down in full or share them with anyone

How safe is your bank?

A Which? investigation in September this year uncovered widely varying levels of online security among UK banks. Nationwide was found to have the best website on test, with good login security and logout performance and an overall score of 69%. 

What to do if you're a victim of bank fraud

Contact your bank as soon as you spot any suspicious transactions on your account.

Your bank must refund you immediately unless it can prove you authorised the transaction, acted fraudulently or with gross negligence. Your bank cannot simply say that the use of your password, card and PIN proves you authorised a payment. 

You will not be liable for any unauthorised transactions after your notify your bank.  

For unauthorised transactions made before you tell your bank, the most you can be liable for is £50 and this only applies if the bank can show that you failed to keep your password or PIN safe. 

More on this...

  • Online banking website review - find out how your bank fares in our test of online banking security
  • Online banking security - how to stay safe online
  • Security software review - find your perfect security software package