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3 Easy Steps to Safer Online Banking
Forget all the doomsayers (most of whom have a hidden agenda and use scare marketing tactics to sell overpriced ID theft insurance or antivirus software), internet banking is safe and extremely useful for managing your money, including any savings.

Having said that everyone must take sensible precautions to ensure their computer is free from Antivirus, Spyware and other malware (short for malicious software).

Fortunately this is easy if you follow these 3 steps (and if you're not too hot on computers it's well worth paying someone a small sum to make sure your PC is safe) -
1. Install Microsoft's excellent free Anti-virus and Anti-Trojan software
2. Make sure your Windows software is set to update automatically
  • Apologies if you're using an Apple computer
  • Installing the Windows updates will mean your machine gets the latest security fixes and software patches
  • This job takes about 1 minute, do the following for Windows XP users
  • Click Start at the bottom left of your screen
  • Click Settings and then Control Panel
  • Look for the icon Automatic Updates
  • Click the Automatic button and then set it to Every day at a time when your PC is usually on
  • Click Apply and you're done
3. Be sensible when online
  • Don't open any suspect emails, especially ones asking you to login to your bank account
  • They will all look like legitimate messages from your bank but in fact they're all scams
  • Also, don't click on suspect links, especially those suggesting your computer is infected with spyware
  • Again, these are all scams, you don't have a spyware problem and the scammers are lying in order to sell you useless and expensive software
  • A good rule of thumb I use when online is that if anything even looks mildly suspect then it is
Follow the above 3 guidelines and you'll be fine when banking online. Also, most Credit Card accounts can also be managed online.

Finally, see secret number 5 - The internet - 4 reasons why it's your financial friend - which is one of this site's 10 Secrets to Good Personal Finance

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