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How to Bank Safely Online

Last modified: 26 February 2016

Online banking is very popular with Canadians – in fact, more than three-quarters of us use online banking to do our transactions because it’s easy, convenient and secure. Banks in Canada use sophisticated technology and layers of security to help protect customers from fraud when doing their banking online or using a mobile banking app.  There are simple steps that customers can take to protect themselves from fraud too. Read on or watch our video to learn how to protect yourself.

Protect your computer and mobile devices

  • Protect your devices against malicious software by installing anti-virus, anti-spyware and Internet firewall tools on all your devices. Make sure that you keep these programs active and updated to keep your information protected.
  • Be cautious when using free public WiFi to conduct financial transactions. Criminals may be able to access your information.
  • Only download apps directly from your bank or a reputable app store that your bank directs you to. Criminals are able to create “legitimate” looking apps that can steal your personal and financial information.
  • Never send personal or financial information by email.
  • Always make sure when conducting financial transactions that the web address starts with https:// - “s” standing for secure - or make sure there is a closed padlock in the bottom right hand corner of your browser.

Choose secure passwords

  • When choosing your online banking password, make sure that it is difficult for criminals to guess. Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols when creating a password, and make sure it is a password you will remember. Common weak passwords include:

    • Your name or a family member’s name;
    • Your birthdate, phone number or address, or that of a family member;
    • Your account or bank card number;
    • Any word or number that would be easy to guess;
    • A password you’ve used for other websites.
  • Try to memorize your passwords and make sure not to write them down.
  • Don’t use the same passwords for online banking that you use to log in to other websites. Always choose a unique password for all online banking and credit card accounts.
  • Make sure to change your passwords regularly as an added level of protection from criminals.

If something’s not right, contact your bank

Although your bank may contact you by text, email and phone they will never ask you to disclose personal information such as your credit card number, PIN or online banking password as they already have that information. If you are unsure about any communication you receive, contact your bank using a phone number or email address that you know is legitimate.

And always check your bank statement regularly or review your transactions online more frequently. If there are any transactions you didn’t make, contact your bank immediately.

The CBA also publishes a Fraud Prevention Tip. Be sure to sign up to receive regular tips and information about how to keep your money and your personal information safe from thieves.