Make sure you have the latest security updated and patches
Most of the software companies today release updates and patches to close newly discovered vulnerabilities in their software. Sometimes security flaws are discovered in a program that may allow a criminal hacker to attack and or control your computer. Before most of these attacks occur, the software companies or vendors create free patches for you that are posted on websites for download and installation by their customers. It is important to check your software vendors' websites regularly for new security patches or use the automated patching features that some companies offer such as Microsoft and Apple for their respective operating systems.
Install anti-virus and anti-spy software
Make sure you have Anti-virus software on your computer! Anti-virus software is designed to protect you and your computer against known viruses but with new viruses emerging daily, Anti-virus programs need regular updates to recognise these new viruses. It is important to update your Anti-virus software regularly - the more often you keep it updated, the better - you should consider updating the software at least once a week. You should also consider using software to detect Spyware. Spyware is malicious software (malware) that is downloaded onto your computer (often without your knowledge). It can be used by third parties and criminals to monitor your Internet activities which could compromise the security of your personal information. As with Anti-virus software you should check your system regularly for Spyware at least once a week.
Use a personal firewall
A personal firewall is another small program that helps protect your computer and its contents from outsiders on the internet. When installed and correctly configured, it stops unauthorized traffic to and from your computer.
Block spam e-mail
Some spam is annoying but harmless. However, much of it can also be used to launch phishing attacks, inviting you to click on links that will then download malware to your computer or direct you to a fake website. If you receive any e-mail from an unrecognised source, you should delete it without opening it. You should also be able to activate a spam filter which will automatically route all such mail to a separate inbox. Deleting unwanted spam without reading it will also protect you from most phishing e-mails.
NBF will never send you an unsolicited e-mail containing a link to any of its log on pages. If you receive one, it will not actually be from the bank and should be deleted immediately.
Be alert to potential fraud
Be aware that there are fake websites designed to trick you and collect your personal information. Sometimes links to such websites are contained in email messages purporting to come from financial institutions or other reputable organisations. Never follow a link contained in an email even if it appears to come from your bank. Always use a known web address or a 'Favourite' link to bank pages.
Keep your passwords secure
Your NBF Online Banking password, together with your other internet banking credentials, permit access to your bank accounts. When creating passwords, remember the following things:
- Keep them to yourself: Do not be tempted to share your passwords with anyone. No one at NBF will ever ask you for your Internet Banking password. If someone does ask you for it, they do not represent NBF.
- Make them hard to guess: Passwords containing upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols are far harder to guess. Do not be tempted to use passwords based on your name, your date of birth, telephone numbers, sequential letters or numbers etc.
- Vary them: Try to use different password for different services.
- Change them regularly: Change your passwords regularly, and contact us immediately if you think someone else knows your Internet Banking password.
- Never write them down: If you really need to record your password, then use a code system or transpose some of the letters.
- Password protect your computer: This will prevent other people from using it if it is left unattended or stolen.
Don't use administrator mode
It's a good idea not to use your computer in administrator mode because anyone who gains access to it will then have almost unlimited rights to see stored data or download software including viruses. It's far better to make a normal user account and log in with that for day to day use.
Secure your wireless network
A wireless network allows you to connect your computer to the internet without having to use a cable. It typically contains a wireless router which uses radio signals to transfer data to computers within the network. Wireless routers come preset to very insecure settings to help users connect to them for the first time but this also means that other people could access your internet account quite easily. For this reason, you should always consult your manual or online guide to find out how to connect more securely through your wireless network usually by creating a password.
Disconnect from the internet when not in use
Disconnecting your computer from the Internet when you're not online lessens the chance that someone will be able to access your computer. And if you haven't kept your Anti-virus software up-to-date, or don't have a firewall in place, someone could infect your computer or use it to harm someone else on the Internet.
Remember that you can protect your credentials even when you are not online:
- Read your statements: Review your bank and credit card statements for any unusual transactions or withdrawals and notify the bank immediately if you suspect any discrepancies.
- Keep us informed: Tell us of any changes in your personal details (e.g. address change).
- Keep your paper records safe: Store your bank documents such as statements and cheque books and any other documents, like bills, that contain personal information in a safe place. Always shred them when they are no longer required.
- Credit and Bank cards: If you plan to cancel a card (or it expires), immediately destroy the card by cutting it in two, through the account number and the magnetic strip.