How to protect yourself
You play an important role in protecting your online information.
Online fraudsters attempt to take advantage of customers with poor security on their computers. For example malicious software downloaded from the Internet or received via attachments to emails can contain malware that could compromise the security of your computer. Even browsing certain websites could lead to a compromise of your computer's security. Hoax emails have also circulated the Internet during recent times, enticing customers to disclose personal details at fake websites.
When you type your Customer Access Number (CAN), UserID (if applicable) and Personal Access Code (PAC) into the Internet Banking log on screen, your computer 'encrypts' and sends this information to us via a secure connection. If your own computer is not protected, it is possible that a hacker could gain control of it and watch everything you type or save on your hard disk, without it being encrypted. It is critical that you take steps to protect yourself and your computer.
Below are steps you can personally take to help ensure you are protected online:
Possible malware infection signs
If your computer has been infected it may act in an unusual manner. Below is a list of examples:
- unusual icons appearing on your desktop or start menu
- extra toolbars
- programmes locking up frequently
- your homepage may change
- random and/or unusual dialling on your modem
These and other unusual occurrences may mean your online security has been compromised by something that’s been downloaded to your machine. We recommend that you perform virus and spyware checking - and please do ensure your anti-virus and spyware software has been updated with the latest definitions - contact your computer vendor if you are unsure.
In some cases however, presence of malware may not be so obvious - e.g. keyboard loggers or other spyware programs which are designed to be unobtrusive or covert.
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You can help protect your computer from viruses that could damage your computer or your programmes by installing anti-virus software. To maximise your protection, check that your anti-virus software also includes functionality to detect all the latest threats such as worms, and trojan horses. Ask your vendor if you are unsure.
Ensure the anti-virus software is regularly updated – ideally weekly at a minimum, although daily updates are best. In most cases these programs can be configured to automatically perform this task. Regularly perform a full system scan on your computer - again most anti-virus programs provide a function which can run this type of scan automatically. If you have not used your computer for more than a few days, it is a good idea to allow your anti-virus program to perform an update before you begin using your Internet browser.
You may wish to consider one of the following online suppliers of anti-virus software. There are numerous vendors in the market - this is purely a sample. Please note: we do not receive commission from the sale of any of these products, nor do we make any recommendations, representations, guarantees or warranties about these products.
Free online virus scans
Free Anti Virus Vendors
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Use a personal firewall software package. These programs are designed to prevent hackers from accessing your computer whilst connected to the Internet. In addition a firewall may also prevent an existing 'keystroke logger' program from sending your confidential information out of your computer to hackers.
You may wish to consider one of the following online suppliers of firewall software. There are numerous vendors in the market - this is purely a sample. Please note: we do not receive commission from the sale of any of these products, nor do we make any recommendations, representations, guarantees or warranties about these products.
Firewall software vendors
Free Firewall Vendors
Spyware and keystroke loggers are general terms for unauthorised, hidden programs which may find their way onto your computer and track what you are doing on the Internet. These programs watch everything you type, then send this information out over the Internet to the hacker without your consent or knowledge. If you type your CAN, PAC or User ID (if applicable) whilst a 'keystroke logger' is planted on your computer, a hacker may then be able to use Internet Banking as if they were you, and access your accounts. Some computer viruses can also carry 'keystroke logging' programs, designed to report CANs, PACs, User IDs and passwords back to hackers for later use.
You may wish to consider one of the following online suppliers of anti-spyware software. There are numerous vendors in the market this is purely a sample. Please note: we do not receive commission from the sale of any of these products, nor do we make any recommendations, representations, guarantees or warranties about these products.
Spyware protection vendors
Latest browser and operating systems
Regularly visit your operating system's and browser's vendor website (refer links below) to ensure your computer’s operating system and Internet browser are up to date. The majority of software vendors such as Microsoft post updates to their products to correct minor defects or security flaws that could potentially affect you.
Please note: we do not receive commission from the sale of any of these products, nor do we make any recommendations, representations, guarantees or warranties about these products.
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Installing software or email attachments
Be extremely careful when installing software onto your computer. We recommend only installing software from original installation CDs or from reputable sources.
If you receive a program via email or Internet download, it is wise to think twice before opening or installing it. Unless you explicitly trust the sender of the program (try contacting them by telephone to be sure) it could actually be a dangerous virus or a 'keystroke logger'.
Remember many viruses spread via email by 'faking' the name of the sender to trick the recipient. If you aren’t sure, contact the sender by telephone and ask for an explanation. Do not click on any link in an email that asks you to respond with personal information, or requests you to pay bills or log onto a secure service. Always delete your junk mail.
Important note: We will never send you an email asking you to reconfirm your security details or to divulge your passwords, CAN, PAC or User ID (if applicable) via email. If you are ever in any doubt about the authenticity of any communications that are or seem to be from us please contact us immediately by telephone.
Beware of online scams
There are many types of online scams that you should be mindful of when you are interacting with people in an online environment. Fraudsters often pose as someone else to groom customers by giving false and misleading information to gain access to your money.
One such online scam is the employment scam. In these types of scams, criminals post fake job advertisements on online recruitment websites or in newspapers. The advertisements are from bogus overseas companies looking for people to act as distribution agents. These agents are required to have an Australian bank account into which they receive funds on behalf of the company and then transfer it overseas, retaining 5-10% of the funds as their commission.
The bogus overseas company will then email the applicant. This email typically contains a virus or trojan keyboard logger which once opened, attempts to install itself onto the applicant's computer without their knowledge. This software then captures the applicant's keystrokes, including online banking CAN and PAC details, and sends them back to the fraudster. The fraudster is then able to log on to the customer’s online banking service and transfer funds directly to their bank account, effectively making the victim an accessory to money laundering.
Other online scams include romance scams. These types of scams have resulted in people around the world losing large amounts of money every day. Fraudsters often troll internet dating sites preying on those looking for love. Once a connection is made, an exchange of emails, phone calls, video calls and messaging often occurs over a long period of time, sometimes even years. Having established a relationship with the victim, the fraudsters use stories and lies to get the victim to send them money. Most stories are similar, for example the fraudster is living overseas and cannot get home; a member of their family is sick and needs money to fund medical treatment; or someone has stolen money from them and they have no money for basic living expenses. While the stories may differ from case to case, the concept is the same - the fraudster will ask for funds to be sent overseas to assist them with their problem. We ask that you be very wary of these types of scams. Unfortunately people lose money to these scams every day. We recommend that you check the Scamwatch website and report and misconduct to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
Be cautious when using public or shared computers
If you access your accounts using a computer in an Internet café, a library or your workplace, try to ensure the computer has the latest anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware and browser software installed.
In addition you should take a few simple precautions to ensure that your Internet Banking access is not compromised. These precautions include:
- Make sure no-one watches you enter your CAN, User ID (if applicable) and PAC
- Don't save your password on the computer
- Close all browsers and open a single new browser for your Internet Banking session. Close the browser when you are finished using the computer
- Regularly change your PAC.
If you're ever in any doubt about the security of a computer, we recommend you don't use it to access your secure information.
Never leave your computer unattended when you are logged in, and make sure that you 'Log Off' when you’ve finished. This will prevent an unauthorised person gaining access to your information. Note: BOQ Internet Banking will automatically sign you out after 10 minutes of inactivity to protect your privacy.
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