Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has worked with leading online safety organisation, Get Safe Online, to provide residents and businesses in Cumbria with the latest advice on how to bank safely online.
Going online – whether via banks’ websites or apps – is the UK’s favourite method of banking, bringing many benefits over in-branch banking, with instant account checking, payments and money transfers without the footwork. To banks, their customers’ security – and their own – is a priority, meaning that they invest heavily to make online banking experiences safe and secure. However, it’s very much the responsibility of customers to ensure that they’re using internet and mobile banking safely and responsibly to protect themselves and their money.
So, to help you do so, Get Safe Online has provided some top tips to help protect your money from fraudsters when you bank online:
- Create strong banking passwords, protect them carefully, keep them to yourself and make sure you use a different password for every online account. If you’ve been using the same login details for your banking as other accounts, change them all to ensure they’re unique in case one of your accounts gets hacked and your logins compromised.
- Always use two-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) when prompted. With most banks nowadays, this comes as standard.
- Be sure to log out of banking websites or apps when you have finished using them.
- Never disclose passwords or other personal information in response to an email, phone call or letter purporting to be from your bank or other financial institution. Banks will never send you emails asking you to divulge such information. If you are unsure if an email is genuine, contact your bank on the phone number you know to be correct.
- Make sure any Wi-Fi network you’re using for online banking is secure. You can’t rely on public Wi-Fi hotspots being safe, so wait until you get back home or to the office until doing anything confidential.
- Download banking and other apps only from your device’s authorised app store, and check reviews and recommendations. Apps downloaded elsewhere could be fraudulent.
- Keep banking and other apps – and device operating systems – regularly updated. Better still, set them to update automatically.
- Protect computers, smartphones and tablets with a PIN or passcode to prevent access by anyone but you.
- Download and use a reputable internet security app on computers and mobile devices, including Apple phones and tablets.
- Choose the option for a text message to be sent every time there’s a transaction on your account.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Most of us bank online in some form, so it’s essential that we know how to keep ourselves as safe as possible while doing so.
“Cyber-criminals are experts at finding out our information so by being able to keep our passwords and logins as secure as possible we make it difficult for online thieves to target us.
“This is why I commission Get Safe Online in Cumbria. To provide tips, information, and advice on all cyber-related topics.
“I would encourage everyone to visit their website at www.getsafeonline.org and read more about how you can keep safe online.
“If you have been targeted by online criminals, please report it to the Police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”
Tony Neate, CEO at Get Safe Online adds, “Whenever banking online, do so with safety in mind – and hopefully our latest tips will help you.
“Today’s cybercriminals have smart ways to try to deceive us into revealing confidential financial details including expertly designed emails and websites that look like the real thing, and spoofed sender addresses.
“If you have any suspicions at all that something isn’t right, check with your bank. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
For free, practical, impartial advice on safe and secure online banking – and everything else you do online – visit www.getsafeonline.org