What can you do?

Check your accounts

  • Check your account balances at regular intervals, for this will allow you to see immediately if your transactions indeed have been carried out or if there are any transactions you did not handle yourself.

Make sure your PC is sufficiently secure

  • Always check to see if the operating system of your PC corresponds with the most recent version available (Windows, MacOS,...).
  • Download the latest security programs from the websites of software providers. There is also the possibility of programming the operating system of your PC to automatically look for the latest updates and install them immediately.
  • Check if you are working with the most recent version of the internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox,...). Beware of ‘bèta’ versions and test versions, which, by definition, have not been fully tested.
  • Make sure to have a sufficiently high level of browser protection by taking a look at the browser options under “security”.
  • If you go wireless (via a WiFi connection), make sure that this connection is protected by means of an access code.
  • See to it that there is a sufficient level of protection on the local network you are using (several PCs connected to a single internet access).
  • Always make sure that the protective software programs such as virus scanners, firewalls, spam filters and programs for undoing malware have been duly installed.

Make sure your internet banking sessions are secured

  • Check if the internet address you would like to use for internet banking, always mentions the name of your bank spelled correctly. The address should always be preceded by https:// instead of http://.
  • Always type in the internet banking website address yourself (or add it to your favourites) and do not use links from other websites or included into an e-mail message.
  • Always take care of following the standard procedure for carrying out the session. From the very moment you start up the internet banking session, your bank always will ask you to provide your authentication data. See to it that the transaction is carried out within a reasonable extra margin as compared to the time it usually takes. Normally, your bank will inform you beforehand of any important changes that have been made on or to its website.
  • Check to see if you actually are on your bank’s internet banking website. Click here to see how this works.
  • Cancel your internet banking session, if you can’t keep an eye on your PC screen all through the session.
  • Do not surf to other websites while banking on the internet. Do not exchange files with other users in the process of online banking.
  • Some banks make use of a card reader or token for the set-up of an internet banking session. In that case, you will need your bank card and/or secret code. Never leave your card in places where you cannot keep it in close custody. Make sure that your secret code actually is secret and never write it down nor tell it to someone else.
    Even when your bank makes use of a system that is different from that with a card reader or token, you will always need a password or code in order to have access to the internet banking website. In that case, the rule of keeping your passwords and codes strictly to yourself also applies.
  • Your PC banking and payment card are personal and consequently, you must never give it to other persons.
  • Avoid using public PCs (e.g. those available in a cybercafé) for the purpose of internet banking. Those PCs may carry a virus which can affect the safety of your transactions. Should you do so anyway, then you must look at your statements of account only.
  • Whenever you rely on internet banking for carrying out transactions, your bank will ask you to put your electronic signature (i.e. a password or code) in order to confirm your data. However, your bank will never ask you to fill in your data or to check them “just for the sake of safety”. If you receive this kind of message, you probably have been victim of phishing.
  • Use your electronic signature only for orders you expect or have initiated yourself.
  • Always make sure to completely end the internet banking session (by using the “log off/end” function for instance) and duly close down the internet connection as soon as you have finished carrying out the transaction.

Only carry out safe payments on the internet

  • If you want to make purchases, only go to websites that are reliable and disclose their identification data. Never forget to check if the company name and data indeed are mentioned on the website.
  • Ideally, there should be https:// instead of http://. in front of the website address you want to go to for making your purchases, in the same way as for internet banking websites.
  • Preferably, you should pay through a secured payment system such as PC banking or by using your payment (Bancontact/Mister Cash) or credit card. If you use your credit card for paying, stick to commercial websites carrying the Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code logo.
  • Never leave your payment card in places where you cannot keep it in close custody. Never write down your card code nor tell it to someone else.
  • Should you have no intention of buying, do not mention your credit card number. There are websites where you will be asked to disclose your credit card number, for instance for the purpose of checking if you have become major of age. Do not pay any attention to this. Once frauds have succeeded in getting hold of your credit card number, they can use your card for making purchases without you being aware.

Be cautious and vigilant when surfing on the internet

  • Surf only to familiar websites and do not download files or programs you have found on websites that are suspect. Always be cautious when opening files from unknown sources or unknown programs or when clicking on some links.
  • If the virus scanner or anti-spyware program of your PC has detected a file that looks suspect, immediately remove this file and close down the website from which the file has been downloaded automatically.
  • Beware of phishing.
  • Never answer e-mail messages in which you are promised to receive a huge amount of money if you disclose your bank account number or are prepared to carry out an international transaction on someone’s behalf. Criminal organisations or persons may have the intention of using you as a
    go-between, i.e. a money mule, for the purpose of transferring crime money into foreign accounts. You will be unaware of the fact that by doing so, you will be involved in criminal activities and can be held guilty.
  • Be cautious whenever you are asked to make a payment, for instance within the framework of a game. You will receive a message saying that you have won a prize, but at the same time you will be asked to pay a certain amount of money in order to cover administrative costs. You may also be asked to buy something in order to increase your chances in the game. Once you will have paid however, you will never hear anything again from this game and your money will be lost.