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Stay safe when you’re banking online

Here are 3 ways to stay safe when you are transacting online.


In the same way that you would never share your ATM pin code with a stranger to keep your money safe, it is important to guard your online banking passwords and sensitive data from fraudsters and scam artists.


The good news is that if you’re vigilant and follow these tried-and-tested tips, you can stay safe and enjoy peace of mind:


  1. Banking safely on your phone

Banking has never been more convenient than it is today. Your bank account is literally in your pocket, meaning you can bank anywhere, at any time – and enjoy all the benefits of online shopping at your fingertips.


But what happens if your phone falls into the wrong hands? Fraudsters are counting on you to make these common mistakes, so be proactive to protect yourself.  


Tips to stay safe:

  1. Keep your passwords safe: Lock your phone with a passcode, enable biometrics if your phone supports that functionality to use fingerprint or facial recognition, and keep your passcodes secret. Use a strong passcode and a different passcode for your bank card PIN and device opening code.
  2. Don’t store sensitive data on your phone: Don’t save your passwords on your phone, this includes your ATM pin numbers, credit card information and online banking logins.
  3. Don’t use other devices to log in to your banking: Never install biometric banking authentication on someone else’s device.
  4. Update your phone’s operating system regularly: Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to attack systems, and operating system updates and app updates include new cybersecurity to keep them out.
  5. Don’t click on suspicious links: Malware is malicious software designed to infiltrate your device. If you click on a suspicious link in an email or SMS, you could be opening a malware program. Load trusted antivirus software on your device to protect yourself and be vigilant about anything you open.
  6. Don’t let your data fall into the wrong hands: Install an app to erase your phone contents in the event it is stolen – and if you plan to sell your phone or give it away, reformat it first to clear off all your data.

What if your phone is lost or stolen?

  • Contact us immediately on the 24-hour fraud hotline on 0800 020 600 (South Africa) or +27 10 249 0100 (International), to deactivate your digital banking profile and block your bank account.
  • Contact your mobile service provider to block your SIM card and handset, request that all incoming SMSs are blocked to prevent criminals from accessing any One Time Pins (OTPs).


  1. Banking safely online

The convenience of online banking has given us more control over our finances than ever before. However, the millions of transactions taking place daily online are just too attractive for cybercriminals to ignore.


Banks implement, monitor and regularly update various security measures to protect your information, but fraudsters have multiple ways to access the data they need directly from you. Luckily, you have the power to stop them in their tracks.


Tips to stay safe:


  1. Use strong passwords. Avoid using your name, birthdate or obvious numbers, such as ‘1234’ or ‘0000’. Regularly change your passwords and don’t save your banking passwords on your computer.


  1. Don’t save banking passwords. When you log into your account on a computer, you may be prompted by your browser to save your username and password, select ‘no’.


  1. Use antivirus software. Just like phone security, ensure your computer is running the latest operating software and install trusted anti-virus software to detect malware and spyware.


  1. Sign up for two-factor or multi-level authentication. Two-factor authentication is an online security process that requires two different authentication factors to verify you. For example, it could be your password, followed by a One Time Pin (OTP) sent to your phone.


  1. Sign up for banking alerts. Banking alerts let you know what’s happening in your account, providing real-time notifications on any suspicious activity on your account so you can immediately contact Standard Bank’s Fraud Centre.


  1. Avoid public Wi-Fi. Many of us are accustomed to having full-time Internet access on our mobile phones and laptops – and public Wi-Fi can be convenient – but you can’t count on it to be secure.


  1. Beware of phishing, smishing and vishing scams

Phishing (email), smishing (SMS) and vishing (calling) scams are becoming increasingly common as cybercriminals target individuals to gain access to their bank accounts. Beware of the following tactics:


  1. Phishing: This is a scam where the fraudster – posing as a legitimate company – tricks you into sharing sensitive information via an attachment or link emailed to you. If you receive any suspicious emails, delete them from your inbox immediately.


  1. Smishing: This scam is similar to phishing, but the fraudster uses an SMS to trick you into sharing sensitive information. Delete suspicious SMSs from your phone immediately.


  1. Vishing: This scam involves cybercriminals posing – as legitimate agents – who persuade you to transfer money or share sensitive banking info over the phone. A common scam involves a fraudster claiming to be a Bank employee calling to alert you of fraud detected on your account, they will then trick you into sharing credit card info and/or OTPs (One-time PINS) so they can stop the fraud, when in fact they are using this information to make illegal online purchases using your account. To stay safe, always verify unexpected phone requests and don’t give out any personal information.


Tips to stay safe:

  1. Remember, Standard Bank will never ask you for your sensitive data over the phone or via an SMS or email. This includes passwords, PINs and One Time Pins (OTPs).
  2. If anyone contacts you asking you for your personal details, do not respond. Call the Standard Bank Fraud Centre immediately on 0800 020 600 (South Africa) or +27 10 249 0100 (International).
  3. Register for MyUpdates for free, unlimited SMS or email alerts to monitor all your transactions so you can keep track of what’s happening on your accounts in real-time.







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