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How Can I Safely Bank Online on My Computer?

Paying your energy bill or checking your account overview to see how much money you have left this month. Thanks to online banking, you never have to go to the bank again and you always have access to your accounts. Banks work together and do everything they can to keep online banking safe and prevent crime. Yet only 64% of people trust the safety of online banking (source: Alert Online). There are a number of things you can do to bank safely online.

Safe Online Banking in 8 Steps

Mobile banking and viewing your bank account via an app on your smartphone or tablet is safe, especially compared to online banking via a browser on a public Wi-Fi network. If you want to bank online with a computer, pay attention to the following.

  1. If you are banking online with your computer via the bank’s website, use a secure Wi-Fi network or fixed internet connection. When logging in, make sure that https is in front of your bank’s web address instead of the normal http. The letter ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’, it is a secure connection. It is strongly discouraged to do online banking via public Wi-Fi, as this is not safe.
  2. Also, check if you see the letters of your bank in green. This is also a sign that you are really on your bank’s website. In some browsers, you see a green lock in front of the name of the bank. If you click on the lock, you can see if you are actually connected to the correct website and not to a fake website of criminals.
  3. Is the https:// or the lock missing? Or is there a strange name when you click on the lock? Then leave the website and type the web address again.
  4. Keep your security codes and login codes secret.
  5. Make sure no one else uses your bank card.
  6. Ensure good security of the equipment you use for your banking matters. This means taking steps to protect the devices you use for online banking, such as your computer, smartphone, or tablet. This includes:
    • Keeping your operating system, browser, and other software up to date. Software updates often include security patches to fix vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
    • Installing and regularly updating a reliable antivirus and anti-malware program. These programs can help detect and remove malicious software that could compromise your security.
    • Using a secure network connection, preferably a private one. Public Wi-Fi networks can be insecure and make it easier for hackers to intercept your data.
    • Locking your devices with strong, unique passwords or PINs to prevent unauthorized access.
    • Being cautious with downloads and email attachments, as these can sometimes contain malware.
    • Regularly backing up your data. In case your device gets infected by malware or suffers a hardware failure, you’ll still have access to your important files.
  7. Regularly check your bank account to see if there are any unknown debits.
  8. Report incidents immediately to the bank and follow the bank’s instructions.
Reference Notes:

You may already be aware of my collaboration with the Dutch government and their endorsement of my Information Security PubQuiz. If not, you can read about it here. Regrettably, the government education site that underpins part of my PubQuizzes is not available in English. Therefore, I’ve translated the articles from “” and “” and you can read them on my site. The original source for this article, in Dutch, can be found here.