June 18, 2013 3 Comments-
Online banking is quick, practical and makes keeping track of your finances much easier. But just how secure is it? In the first of a series of articles discussing online banking, we ask the question: what are the dangers of banking online?
Banks are huge targets
Banks are where the money is, so while criminals might be interested in knowing your password and accessing your Cat Lovers Anonymous account, they’re far more interested in transferring your money into their accounts.
Because banks are the most important targets for criminals, companies like HSBC and co. are under a huge amount of pressure to ensure that no security holes escape their notice when allowing their customers access to online banking.
And while banks are mostly doing a good job at this, there is one variable they don’t control: us. If we don’t take the proper precautions, all the bank’s security is worthless. Keeping good computer security hygiene is vital if you plan on internet banking, or you could fall victim to one of the following attacks:
Keyloggers are key
Keyloggers do exactly what their name suggests – they log your keystrokes. If you type your online banking username and password, this information will be stored in the keylogger and forwarded to a remote location. Scary.
Keyloggers are the reason most bank accounts now require you to generate a number from a plastic-dongley thing to log in (or require a code sent to your mobile phone). This unique number will work just once, so people with keyloggers won’t be able to use that number to access your finances.
Keyloggers should be discovered by good anti-virus software, so make sure your copy of Norman is up-to-date. This is vitally important if your bank only requires a simple username and password to log in and doesn’t offer you a unique log-in code.
Watch out for the man-in-the-browser attack
The “man-in-the-browser” attack refers to a malware that infects your web browser. Once installed, it will then wait for a trigger event, and then change the information on the webpage to suit the criminals who created it.
For example, if you’re making a bill payment online, the man-in-the-browser malware might wait until the payment screen to activate, and then secretly alter the details of who you’re paying, sending cash to the criminals instead of your intended target. Ouch.
Again, the solution to this is good internet habits – and a good piece of antivirus software. Honestly, there’s no better protection than responsible internet browsing.
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