How to bank online safely

As the Payments Council reports four million people are interested in trying online banking for the first time but are worried about security, we look at the simple steps you can take to bank safely over the internet: 

Stay safe

  • When you sign up for internet, phone or mobile banking, you should be told what you have to do to keep your details secure. Your bank will also provide you with terms and conditions that explain how you should use the service.
  • Your bank will NEVER request login details or passwords in full over the phone or by email, so never give anyone your details in this way.
  • Stop and think about the process you normally go through to make a payment to someone – be suspicious if it differs from the last time.
  • Some banks offer free anti-virus software or browser security software for your computer or mobile phone – check with them if you aren’t sure.
  • When sending money using online banking, always double check the account number and sort code you are sending it to - this is the only information used to address the payment.
  • Log off each time you finish using online banking – especially if you are using a shared computer.
  • Never login to your bank’s website through a link in an email, even if the email appears to have come from your bank. Type the web address into your browser yourself.
  • Find out more from the Payments Council's new guide Remote Banking: Your rights

Fraud protection

  • You have legal protection from any fraud losses if you use online banking, phone or mobile banking provided you have kept your details secure and you are not a knowing party to a fraud.
  • Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction. Money can only be taken from your account if you have authorised the transaction or if you were at fault.
  • Your bank cannot refuse a refund simply because your password, card or PIN were used, unless it can prove you are at fault because you acted fraudulently, or with gross negligence by failing to protect the details of your PIN or password.

Read our top tips to choosing good passwords.