Online safety

Our top tips for keeping yourself safe online

We live in an increasingly online world. And while the reward is great, so are the risks. While you can easily access information and quickly get things done, it can be easy to fall for a scam or accidentally share personal information. In light of this, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay safe online.

But what does that mean? Well, that’s a simple yet incredibly important question; a question that we’re happy to help you answer. While we’ve got specific guides about banking protection and common scams, on this page we’ll take you through our top tips to protect yourself and your finances in the online world.

1. Don’t share personal info

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again: never share your personal information with others. That extends to not writing things like passwords and your PIN down – on your phone or on paper.

No legitimate organisation – including Hume Bank – will ever send you an email or text message asking for your password, verification code or PIN.

2. Make sure your accounts are secure

There are a number of things you can do to make sure your accounts are safe:

  • Create unique, unpredictable passwords
    Use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols that aren’t personal to you or easily guessed by others. The longer and more complex your password is, the harder it will be to crack.
  • Use different passwords and PINs
    It’s important to never use the same password or PIN for different accounts. And for extra security points, try to change all your important passwords fairly regularly.
  • Try a password manager
    Have trouble remembering all your different, complicated passwords? You can use a password manager to keep all your logins secure while only having to remember one single master password.
  • Take advantage of multifactor authentication
    This extra security feature means that logging into an account will require a combination of something you know (your pin or password) and something you have (your card or phone) – with Hume you can use SMS authentication.

3. Keep your devices up-to-date

Whenever you access the internet you do so through a device, so it’s important to make sure that device is secure. While you can install reputable anti-virus and firewall protection, most computers and smartphones come with adequate security and protection. All you need to do is make sure you regularly update your device software so that the protection remains current.

When you’re using your computer to access iBank, you can also confirm that your data is encrypted by looking for the padlock in the URL bar of the browser window.

4. Check your privacy & security settings

It’s important to be careful what information you share online. You should never share personal information like account information, addresses, middle name, date of birth, pet names, etc. on social media.

Take time to customise your privacy and security settings – both on the platforms and on your devices – so you don’t accidentally share more information than you intend to.

5. Be careful when you bank online

Online and mobile banking are convenient ways to take care of your banking needs. But as with any interaction you have online, it’s important to be careful and protect yourself by:

  • Using a secure device and internet connection
  • Never accessing the website or app through an email link
  • Consider using a code or password to lock your device
  • Always log out from the internet or mobile banking menu
  • Close your browser or app after logging out

6. Keep your eyes peeled for scams

It’s sad but true: scams are everywhere online. Keep yourself safe by knowing the warning signs:

  • Unexpected calls or messages claiming to be from a legitimate organisation like your bank, utility provider or law enforcement
  • Text messages that contain an unsafe link to verify details, pay an outstanding debt or sign up to win a prize
  • Emails impersonating a company or person, often containing an unsafe link or spelling mistakes
  • A friend request or direct message on social media from someone you have never met, even if they say they know a friend of yours

Remember, if something seems too good to be true or a little bit off, it probably is. Be cautious of any offers you get online, never click unknown links, and avoid sharing any personal or financial information.

If you’d like to know more about scams, we’ve got a whole handy guide over here.

7. Avoid using public wifi & devices

Public wifi connections aren’t as secure as private networks. It is important that you use only a trusted and secure computer to access your internet banking. If you need to use an unknown device or a public network, make sure you:

  • Never save your password or account details
  • Don’t leave your accounts logged in
  • Stay aware of your surroundings
  • Refrain from online shopping or internet banking

8. Report anything that feels suspicious

While you can’t stop bad things from happening, you can control what happens when they do. If you think you’ve been the victim of a fraud or scam, or if something feels suspicious, you can always report it.

If you think it has or will affect your finances, get in touch with us as soon as possible. You can also report the matter to your local police – just remember to ask for a police report or reference number for evidence as this could help with claims and insurance down the line.

There are also a number of Australian Government agencies who deal with online safety and scams who you can contact.