By taking some simple precautions, you can increase your security online.
While technology has made things easier, nothing will protect you against fraud if you are careless with personal information. By keeping your personal information secure and being aware of security, you can play an important part in protecting your personal financial information and preventing fraud. Listed below are areas you can focus on to keep your personal information secure.
Be very cautious of emails that have a link to a website and/or an Internet Banking site that asks for personal details, your member number, your Internet Banking access code and/or credit card details.
What you should look out for
You should be very cautious of any email that asks you to reply with or enter your personal details no matter how real it looks. Do not reply to emails that request your:
We will not request such information via an email.
To access your accounts, you will need your member number and a personal "password". Your password protects the security of your information. Passwords will only keep outsiders out if they are kept secret!
Here are a few helpful tips to assist you in choosing and using your access code:
Note: change your password, or notify us as soon as you suspect your existing password has become known or used by someone else.
Care should always be taken in unknown areas, like internet cafes: to prevent any other persons viewing your member number and password, this applies equally to people watching the keyboard or watching the mouse on the screen.
When logging into or using Online Banking, look for the closed padlock symbol at the bottom or in the top right corner of your web browser. You can double-click the padlock symbol to view the server security certificate's details. The certificate informs your browser that the web site you are connected to is in fact Horizon Bank's and not a "fake" site.
When using Online Banking, check to see that you are correctly accessing our secure site by looking at the address bar at the top of your browser. Check to see that the web address begins with "https://". Web addresses that begin with "https://" are secured (unsecured addresses start with "http://").
Always log out completely from Online Banking and close the browser session after you have finished. When leaving your computer unattended, you should either shut it down or physically disconnect from the Internet connection. This lessens the chance that someone will be able to continue to use your current connection. We recommend that you do not access Online Banking via public access computers, eg Internet cafes, universities etc.
As an additional precaution, the Online Banking system has been set to automatically log out after 15 minutes if your banking session remains unattended.
We recommend you install a 'firewall' to protect your computer from unauthorised access over the Internet. A firewall is a software program that filters all Internet traffic between your computer and the outside world. It works to either block or permit Internet traffic to and from your computer. You can use the firewall to protect your home or business computer and any personal information it holds from offensive websites, spam and unauthenticated logins from potential hackers.
Major firewall providers include:
Spam is all unsolicited electronic mail sent out in bulk to individuals that have not consented to receive it. "Spammers" use email addresses harvested from websites or procured by means without the owners' consent.
You can protect yourself from spam in a number of ways:
A filter is kind of software that sorts incoming emails and rejects those it considers spam.
Spam filters can be very useful but are not perfect. Sometimes they block genuine messages (this is called a 'false positive'). On other occasions they fail to identify real spam (this is called a 'false negative'). Because of this, a good approach is to divert emails that have been identified as spam to a 'spam folder'; this way you can manually review the diverted messages to check for any that are genuine.
Protect your Email Address Online
Spammers have typically used two techniques for gathering email addresses: 'dictionary attacks' and 'harvesting'. While both of these techniques are now outlawed under the Spam Act 2003, you should still exercise caution.
A dictionary attack occurs where a spammer sends out bulk emails to large numbers of possible addresses in the hope of locating a real email recipient. Harvesting refers to the process whereby a spammer finds your email address from a publicly available source, for instance where you have registered a domain name or just posted a message on a bulletin board. If you do supply your email address, try to limit the scope of subsequent communications (eg by ticking a box to indicate that you do not want to receive any further offers or information).
Also, consider using different email addresses for different purposes. This will help to limit the amount of unwanted mail you receive to your main email address.
Protect your Email Address when Publishing it on Your Website
If you want people to be able in touch with you through your website, you can limit the risk of spam by using a non-personal email address or setting up an online form for visitors to complete (rather than giving them your email address).
For further information, click on the following link:
A computer virus is a program that attaches itself to another program, but changes the action of that program so that the virus is able to spread. Anti-virus software is designed to protect you and your computer against known viruses, worms and Trojans. A Trojan is a malicious program disguised as something harmless, such as a game or a screen saver, which in fact contains hidden code that allows an intruder to possibly take control of your machine without your knowledge.
New viruses are constantly appearing; viruses range from harmless pranks that merely show an annoying message, to programs that can destroy or disable a computer altogether.
Major antivirus software providers include:
Visit the Internet Industry Association National AntiVirus Initiative http://www.commsalliance.com.au/Activities/ispi to find out more and to take advantage of a free antivirus software trial. Major antivirus software providers have agreed to commit to a free trial so that all users, whether corporate, small business or domestic, have the chance to trial antivirus software to find a solution that works best for them.
"Spyware" is the collective name given to software that is installed on your computer to secretly obtain information and send it back to another source. Spyware programs can be installed through a virus or as part of another software installation e.g. a 'freeware' program.
Spyware can be removed from your computer by:
Virus writers and hackers look for vulnerable areas of software programs to gain unauthorised access to PCs. Publishers of software programs provide updates from time to time to solve vulnerabilities that are discovered in their programs. The publisher will normally release a security upgrade as a 'patch' to your existing program.
You should check your computer security on a regular basis and download the latest security updates. To check for updates and patches you should visit the publisher's website, typically in their 'Download' section.
Use the latest version of your Internet browser: we use 128-bit technology in data encryption to protect your personal information. To take advantage of this feature you'll need to ensure you are using the latest version of your Internet browser.
AutoComplete functions remember your personal information and passwords.
We recommend you consider disabling the auto password auto completion function on Internet Explorer by clicking on Options, Internet options, selecting the Content tab, clicking AutoComplete; deselect the 'Use AutoComplete for user names and passwords on forms' box. You can clear any stored passwords in this section also.
In addition, do not download any computer software that remembers and pre-populates any of your access details required to logon to Internet Banking.