Published On: Tue, Oct 15th, 2019

Online banking warning: Simple way to reduce risk of falling victim to internet | Personal Finance | Finance

The risk of fraud doesn’t just lurk online, however security on the internet will be a priority for many. Online banking may be a free and easy way to keep on top of one’s finances, but some may fear falling victim to a scam. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website offers some guidance to members of the public on common cyber problems. This includes what a person should do if they are worried that their banking details have been stolen.

The guidance explains those in this particular situation should contact their bank or building society and speak to their fraud department.

It adds that a bank will not ask customers to reply to an email with personal information, or details about their account.

The website also offers a tip on what to do when getting in touch with one’s bank.

The NCSC suggests that when contacting the bank, using a phone number or email address that one has found themselves, rather than using the one provided in the email, as there is a risk that this “may be false”.

It’s also possible to check one’s credit reference file online, and NCSC recommends people follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.

READ MORE: Online banking warning: Avoid checking account in this situation to reduce hacker risk

According to research by McAfee, 45 per cent of people have either fallen victim or know someone who has fallen victim to online fraud or hacking, resulting in money being stolen from their account.

The findings show that last year, an average of £725 per person was lost to these criminals in the UK.

Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow said: “Online shopping and marketplaces can be a minefield, with cybercriminals exploiting Brits’ personal information to cash-in on bargain hunters.

“McAfee discovered the average Brit lost around £725 to cybercriminals through online shopping, last year.

“This is a staggering number and a clear reminder how important it is for consumers to remain vigilant when online shopping.

“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is – think before you click on a link to a discount.”

Mr Samani explained that social media users should also be wary.

“One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to target shoppers is through phishing messages via such platforms,” he said.

“This is a tactic used to lure consumers into clicking links for products or services that could lead to malware or a dodgy, fake website designed to steal personal information.

“If you don’t know the sender or the message is unexpected, it’s best to avoid clicking on any links shared through social media or email platforms.”

“Once you’re sure the website, offer or vendor is legitimate, secure payment must be completed. Using public Wi-Fi when out and about might seem like a quick and easy way to purchase on the move, but you could be exposing personal information or credit card details to cybercriminals lurking in the unsecure network.

“It’s best to wait until you get to a secured home network to conduct personal business. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection, use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep your connection secure.”

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