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How Safe Are Your Banking Details
Category : IT Infrastructure Setup 05 Aug 2009 09:25 AM
The news this week that hackers are still bale to gain access to private bank account details by using simple Trojan horse virus programs will undoubtedly come as a shock to many people and an enormous embarrassment to the banks concerned and their network security systems. A reported HK$289,000 has so far been stolen. With eight banks admitting that their online banking facilities have been targeted that amount could, of course, just be the tip of the iceberg; with banking and finance industries being notoriously unwilling to admit any losses due to fraud or theft of any kind!
What can be done to protect personal banking details?
Online or internet banking requires you to have more than just a username and password. For example, some internet banking systems also require you to enter a 'one-time' machine generated code or possibly to confirm a transaction from a device other than the computer you’ve used. For an unauthorized user to gain access to your account all the hacker needs to do is infect your devices with programs that read and copy the characters you press for your banking access routine, then as soon as you've left the banking system re-enter the details. The problem of internet theft from your bank account usually arises when customers use a computer or device - without knowing it is infected with a virus. The solution to this is very simple, you need some basic computer support. Contact a reliable and reputable IT support provider and ask them to install the very latest and most robust anti-virus software available. Quite frankly not having anti-virus software on your computer is almost the same as inviting someone to steal data from you. Even if when you bought a computer it had anti-virus software installed on it - have you kept up to date with the patches and upgrades for it? Again, not doing so will render your anti-virus software useless, as computer hackers are constantly changing the virus programs they use. Another thing you should install, if you don't already have one is a firewall - that can help to further reduce the risk of an unauthorized piece of software being put on your computer.
What about commercial banking details?
Commercial banking details could, of course, be just as easily targeted by data thieves and now might well be a good time for businesses in Hong Kong to run an audit on the anti-virus software they're using and the state of their firewalls. Again there are several companies such as Dual Layer IT Solutions in Hong Kong that specialize in personal and networked computer security and design. Computer networks, no matter how small, large, simple or complex - present many avenues that hackers will seek to take advantage of; over and above simple Trojan horse viruses. With so many different users and accounts in a business network it can be difficult for your over-stretched IT staff to be sure that everyone has there anti-virus software always turned on and up to date, or even that network anti-virus systems are 100% effective and all the network ports that could be attacked are secure. Seeking an audit and advice from an external IT security company just could save you an awful lot of money. We all know in these economically straightened times - everyone is looking to save money. But, unless of course you can afford to have your business network security breached, failing to spend a little on those network solutions issues could end up costing you an awful lot more in the long run!
A final - oh so easy -tip.
How many times some people need telling this never ceases to amaze some professional IT services providers - but … Whether you use personal internet banking or internet banking as a business - once you're sure your computer(s) are virus free - for goodness sake change your password. If you're a business - ask for either the personal computers or the network to enforce regular password changes. You can do this if you're a home user too; otherwise just leave yourself a note by the computer to make sure you regularly change it. Even then, just in case you've not been told this before, don't use anything - anything - that can easily be associated with you. The more complicated you can make the password by using a combination of letters and numbers - the better. You'll be amazed at how easy it actually is to remember a password that's something like - az21X32dw, and if you can add characters like * or ! or -, all the better.