Staying safe with online banking

Online banking is becoming a necessity, with benefits such as keeping control of your finances from home or on holiday via a website or app.

If that’s not liberating enough, you can transfer money between accounts, send money to people you know, and set up or cancel direct debits and standing orders – all without visiting a branch.

Most banks give lessons to help, while Age UK has terrific advice on its website and offers computer classes. Here are a few of our essential tips:

  • Do set up your online banking carefully, download the correct app and follow your bank’s instructions to the letter.
  • Don’t share those details with anyone unless it’s an emergency or you completely trust them, such as a next of kin.
  • Do take some time to play with the app’s features and familiarise yourself with the layout.
  • Don’t mistake online banking for being unsafe. Most have the highest levels of digital security and log you out automatically after use.
  • Do look for ‘HTTPS’ before the website name in the address bar of your web browser. The ‘S’ stands for secure and means it is protected.
  • Don’t reuse the same passwords for different accounts.
  • Do be cautious with public computers. The one in your local library might not be secure, so check with staff.
  • Don’t share passwords or PIN numbers. Banks will never ask you for these in full. If they do, it’s fraudulent.
  • Do view your balance frequently to check for irregularities and raise any concerns immediately.

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