Easy Internet Banking - How to do it safely everytime !

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Most of my winning bidders actually go to the Bank to pay me and do comment that they are not sure how to do an online transaction.
The process is not half so scary as at first thought and in no time you will wonder why you used to spend most of your lunch break standing in line like a stork surveying the mudflats!
Here are my tips to ensure that you do a secure accurate transaction every time:
  • Prepare your computer. Meaning that it should have a good firewall and a virus checker.  I use the free version of ZoneAlarm for the former,  it's a no brainer to set up..  I use AVG Free to scan for viruses for the same reason.
  • Ensure your Internet Banking  password is a mixture of letters and numbers which you can remember rather than having to write down somewhere.  It helps if you choose something that you can recite to yourself phonetically - even if it does sound mad!
  • Have all your transaction details to hand including your BSB,Customer & Account numbers.      If paying others you will need their banking details including Biller Code for Bpay, Sort Number for overseas payments, etc.. -  where applicable.
  • If this is your first time online, log in and check out each link first so that you have a fair idea what information would be needed for a particular type of transaction.
  • Clean out your cookie cache, history and temporary files folders before you start via tools/internet options on your browser menu. You can set IE to do this automatically each time it closes.
  • Always open a new window or tab in your browser and type in the URL of your bank. Do not access by clicking any links on other pages if you are intending to log in to do banking and do not bookmark the log in page.
  • Always remember to use the 'sign out' link when you are done, don't just close your browser.
  • Never respond to emails purporting to be from your bank asking you to click on any links. If in doubt, phone your branch and delete the email when you have it sorted.  Most of the time these emails are hoaxes.
  • Never give out your pin/password over the phone to anyone claiming to be from your bank, even if it is someone from your branch whose voice you recognise!  Bank Staff are not allowed to ask for this information.  In the unlikely event, phone your Branch Manager immediatelly and report it.
Here are some mistakes I have made while doing my Internet Banking which you can take note of and avoid:
  1. Pressing 'enter' while filling details in the boxes.  I thought it would take me to the next box but you  need to use 'tab'.  I have done this more than once and it reloads the form and I had to start over!
  2. Not printing out a receipt when prompted to at the end of a transaction.  I found that you can't go back to it again later and the best you get is your transaction list or statement. (If  any banking people are reading this, please put somewhere on the site to store and retrieve individual receipts!!!)
  3. Forgetting to fill in the reference field to let the payee know who I was and what I was paying for.
  4. Hitting the 'back' button to return to a previous page when I had completed a transaction.  This brought up an error page and I had to log on all over again.
Hopefully the above should encourage you to go online.  I personally find it really great that you can pay bills, order stuff, transfer cash between your accounts anytime twentyfour over seven.

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