Online bankers urged to safeguard transactions

In an effort to curb internet banking fraud, users have been urged to adopt measures to safeguard transactions.

Absa on Tuesday said that while there are many ways internet banking users can prevent fraud, many users are often unaware of them.

Absa spokesperson Deon Oosthuizen said that this week is Fraud Awareness Week and he offered some useful tips for online bankers to prevent fraud.

He said one very important way in which to keep transactions safeguarded is to memorise pin and password numbers instead of writing them down.

Ensure that pin and password numbers cannot be seen when using them and change the numbers immediately if there is a possibility the numbers may be compromised.

“Choose an unusual pin and password that are hard to guess and change them often,” said Oosthuizen.

Always ensure that you have logged on to a secure website and not on to a “spoof” site that looks like the real website.

“Such sites are made with one purpose—to defraud you.

“Make sure you are not on a spoof site by clicking on the security icon on your browser tool bar to see that the Absa security certificate is from Verisign and by checking that the URL begins with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’,” said Oosthuizen.

He said every user should log off immediately after completing their transactions.

He also urged users to avoid banking in public areas like internet cafes.

“You never know what software is loaded that may compromise your transactions.

“And be especially aware that there are no security cameras trained on your PC and keyboard.”

Oosthuizen said it is also important to ensure that the latest anti-virus applications are loaded on to your computer and urged users not to open suspicious or unfamiliar e-mails or attachments as these often contain harmful programmes.

He added that online shopping should always be done with reputable companies to keep the details of your credit and debit cards safe.

A secure shopping site will have a picture of a closed lock at the bottom of the screen.

Oosthuizen said online banking users could call 08600 08600 if any unauthorised banking is suspected.

The same number can be used to confirm whether e-mails received from the bank are legitimate.

“Don’t click on any link in an e-mail that looks suspicious to you,” said Oosthuizen.—Sapa

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