Banks could decline online fraud compensation
|Published: 27th July 2008 22:40|
A few weeks ago you will have received a new copy of the latest Banking Code. Like me, I am also sure that you will have either filed it with your statements or simply thrown it away without a thought. This latest version includes an important new clause for banks when asked to refund a customer who has been the victim of online fraud.
Section 12.9 advises customers of online banking to 'Keep your PC secure. Use up-to-date anti virus and spyware software and a personal firewall." The important new addition to the banking code is section 12.13 which states "Unless you have acted fraudulently or without reasonable care (for example, by not following the advice in section 12.9), you will not be liable for losses caused by someone else which take place through your online banking service." This gives banks the right to refuse compensation following online fraud if the customers computer has inadequate protection.
The solution is to ensure that you have adequate protection, and fortunately the costs aren't prohibitive. Microsoft already offer their Windows XP customers a free anti spyware and local firewall download, whilst Vista contains both out of the box.
There are plenty of antivirus packages available and all IT professionals and gifted amateurs have their own advice. Popular choices include McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, Panda etc. It really doesn't matter too much which you end up purchasing, as long as the package is kept up to date.
Most manufacturers also offer more expensive security suites which will replace the free antispyware and firewall and include other nice-to-haves such as anti spam software, internet browser protection and anti rootkit protection to name a few. It will cost a bit more but you may think this is a small price to pay for extra piece of mind.
If your computer is not used for commercial purposes, there is also a decent selection of free anti virus products available, although you should be wary which one to download and install. Stick with the free versions from Avast, AVG or Avira AntiVir to be safe.
It is important to avoid adverts on web sites that claim you already have a virus and they have the product to remove it. Some antivirus programs including WinAntiVirus, SystemDoctor, AVSystemCare, XPAntiVirus2008 and ErrorSafe will do more harm than good. Stick with a personal recommendation or one from this newsletter. I tend to recommend AVG since it is cheap and has been protecting my computers and servers for several years and so far, so good.
Now that you have installed and configured your security software, it is also important to ensure that Windows is up to date with its security patches. In your Control Panel, you should find a link for Automatic Updates. Open this and ensure that it is at least set to 'Download updates for me'. Then, when the balloon prompts you in the bottom right corner of the screen near the clock let it update itself. If you want to check that it is up to date manually, you can browse to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com to have Microsoft check your system for you.
Since most infections come from the internet, it is also important to keep your browser and mail client secure. Configuring automatic updates will keep Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook Express or Windows Mail up to date with service packs and patches, or you may prefer to download alternative software such as Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird from www.mozilla.com which claim to be safer than the Microsoft counterparts. As long as they are kept up to date, both will be fine.
If you follow the above and use common sense when browsing the internet or opening emails, you shouldn't go far wrong. I would also remind you to keep regular offsite backups to avoid data loss following a computer infection, hardware failure, fire or stolen computer but I know you all do that already?
Thanks to Stuart Bowen of Bandicoot Limited for this article.