I received a videotape sized package in the post recently. Wondering who could be sending me a VHS cassette (or a box of chocolates perhaps), I tore the packaging open enthusiastically.

What I found was a card-reader - an electronic device shaped like a pocket-sized calculator. An accompanying letter from my bank explained that I would need to insert my credit card into this device in order to use their internet banking facility henceforth. According to the bank, since online fraud is 'becoming increasingly sophisticated', they'd introduced the card reader as an extra security measure.

Although happy to hear that security initiatives are constantly being enhanced, I was a bit shocked as I'd always assumed the current security measures were more than adequate. At least that was the impression the bank had always given to its customers.

I love shopping and banking online. Am I the only one who's more than a little concerned about the rapid growth of internet and identity fraud? Would you ever consider going back to the old fashioned way of transacting cash?
To access our main bank we have to use our Account number, password and then a special code generaated from a small code generator which is only available for 60 seconds. For our credit unions we not only have to have account number and password but we must click three symbols in the right order, which we've already pre-selected.

Banking fraud is awful. A few years ago someone stole my credit card from my letter box before I even knew it was sent to me. They spent $4,600 in one weekend (which I was able to prove I was in a different city two hours flight away). But it was still horrible knowing someone was masquerading as me. (Booze, cigarettes, adult stores were their primary spend locations)
I keep a separate online shopping bank account which never has much in it lol! If I want to make a rare large purchase I transfer the amount shortly before I complete the transaction. it's a nuisance I know, but better than having funds taken by someone else.

Books, DVDs and other Amazon purchases I make with my writing earnings from Amazon, so that's quite a neat way of doing it.

I must say I am not that keen on online accounting and shopping though.
I don't find it safe. Not at all.
I have been banking online and paying on internet for more than 6 years now and so far I haven't had any problem. I would not be able to do any financial transaction otherwise, as I travel a lot.

As long as you practice "safe computing/networking", the risk is not very big.

- Use "protection" so that you don't have virus/spyware/malware on your computer. Get the latest Microsoft Windows security patches. Install anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall. Use router for internet and change the router login.

- Practice "safe email reading" - no clicking on links in suspicious email. Type or copy/paste the url to access sites.

- Practice "safe web surfing". Whenever possible, use FireFox browser (with NoScript extension installed, which disables all Javascript by default. Only enable the necessary Javascript when you need them.) Install free McAfee SiteAdvisor (or similar utilities) to warn you of dangerous sites.

I agree with netbella. I've not had a problem yet and try to be very careful with emails, attachments, links and surfing.

I also check my bank a LOT and therefore am keeping an eye on any suspicious activity.
Posted By: Jilly Re: Think it's Safe to Bank and Spend Online? - 06/10/08 07:49 PM
Right, I have been online banking from the beginning and could not function without it. I trust it - but i am careful and monitor our accounts continually.
I had my credit card stolen from my letter box and $4,500 spent on it in a few days. So having a card isn't safe. I've never had a problem with online banking and we've been doing that for as long as it's been available with our banks. We never go to the bank for money stuff or paying bills and we almost never use our cheque account.
An accompanying letter from my bank explained that I would need to insert my credit card into this device in order to use their internet banking facility henceforth.

All Caribbeanbusiness
I admit to assuming it's safe. I wouldn't want to go back to banking offline. I know; I'm spoiled by the technology.
I thought about it until my modem died one day and it took a week to get a new one. It's too late to think about all the fraud stuff, once you buy something on line your in the system.
I do not bank online (i love technology and the internet but theres a few things i prefer the old ways and this is 1 of those) but I often shop online and it is safe. I have been victim of credit card fraud four times but they never found exactly how this happened so it may not be from the internet.
I do all my banking online and most of my shopping online. I was a quite early adopter of both and have rarely if ever have issues with it.
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