20 October 2019

Staying safe online

Contact us

Call us on:

General enquiry

0508 443 924

Enquiry from overseas

+64 9 368 8880

We're doing everything we can to help you stay safe online so you can access your finances securely, whenever you need to.

Here you'll find out how you can enhance your online security, how we're protecting your business online, how you can report any suspicious activity and other ways you can stay safe online.

How we're protecting you online

We're constantly reviewing the ways we can help and support you.

As a global bank operating in more than 60 countries, we have global insight into online fraud. We see trends and threats early and we can react quickly to prevent problems. It also means we're on hand to support you wherever you go.

Helping to ensure your online transactions are safe and secure, we use industry-standard security technology and practices to safeguard your account from any unauthorised access.

  • Using logons and passwords to make sure it's you we're dealing with
    Online access to your account is only possible once you have authenticated yourself using the correct Internet Banking ID and security details.
  • Creating secure online sessions
    when you log in to HSBCnet, you are said to be in a secure session. You know you are in a secure session if the URL address begins with https:// and a padlock symbol appears at the top of the page as part of the address bar.
  • Using encryption
    Depending on your browser setting, a pop-up window will appear to notify you that you will be entering a secured page. We use 128-bit SSL encryption, which is accepted as the industry standard.
  • Using session timeouts
    If you forget to log- off after banking online or your computer remains inactive for a period of time during a session, our systems automatically log you off.
  • Having automatic lockouts
    After a number of incorrect attempts to log in, we disable online access to your account. To re-activate your account, you should contact your usual help desk number.

1. Make sure you have the latest security updates and patches

From time to time, weaknesses are discovered in programmes running on your computer. These weaknesses can be exploited by virus writers and hackers to gain access to computers. As such, publishers will release 'patches' from time to time to correct these weaknesses.

To check for patches and updates you should visit the publisher's website, typically their 'Download' section. Generally, the latest versions of an operating system family (like Microsoft Windows) or browser (like Internet Explorer, Firefox etc) is the most secure.

Microsoft users can visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com , which can automatically check what is required for both your operating system and browser and then download it at your request.

2. Install anti-virus software

You may already be using anti-virus software but to be effective, the software should be updated on a regular basis with the latest virus definition files. If you are unsure how to do this, you should refer to the program's 'Help' function.

Any file with no extension or a double extension, eg wow.jpg.pif is almost certainly a virus and should never be opened. Also, never open an e-mail attachment that contains a file ending with .exe, .pif and .vbs as these are commonly used with viruses.

There are many effective programs to choose from, but the most common commercial products include McAfee, Trend Micro, Sophos, Symantec and F-Secure. It is also possible to obtain free anti-virus protection from Microsoft Security Essentials, Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus, Antivir, ALWIL Avast and ClamWin. However, be sure to visit the genuine site as there are many fake products claiming to protect your computer but which may actually infect it with viruses.

3. Use a personal firewall

A personal firewall is another small program that helps protect your computer and its contents from outsiders on the internet. When installed and correctly configured, it stops unauthorised traffic to and from your computer.

There are many effective programs to choose from. Common commercial examples include Windows Firewall and Check Point Zone Alarm (free), McAfee Personal Firewall and Norton Personal Firewall.

4. Use an anti-spyware programme

Spyware is the term used to describe programs that run on your computer which monitor and record the way you browse the internet and the sites you visit. It can also be downloaded without your consent or knowledge and used to see personal information that you have entered online, including passwords, telephone numbers, credit card numbers and identity card numbers.

Anti-spyware programmes currently available include AdAware, Microsoft Defender (free), Spyware Blaster, Spy Sweeper and, Sunbelt Software Counter Spy. Again, be sure to visit the genuine site as there are many fake products claiming to protect your computer but which may actually infect it with viruses.

5. Block spam e-mail

HSBC will never send you an unsolicited e-mail containing a link to any of its logon pages. If you receive one, it will not be from us and should be deleted immediately.

6. Be alert to potential fraud

Be aware that there are fake websites designed to trick you and collect your personal information. Sometimes links to such websites are contained in e-mail messages purporting to come from financial institutions or other reputable organisations. Never follow a link contained in an e-mail - even if it appears to come from your bank.

7. Keep your passwords secure

Your HSBC Business Internet Banking password, together with your other internet banking credentials, permit access to your bank accounts. When creating passwords, remember the following things:

  • Keep them to yourself
  • No one at HSBC will ever ask you for your Internet Banking password
  • Make them hard to guess
  • Vary them: Try to use different passwords for different services
  • Change your passwords regularly
  • Never write them down

8. Be careful where you go online

Avoid using Business Internet Banking (or any other internet services that require passwords) at internet café, libraries or any other public sites to avoid the risk of information being copied and abused after you leave.

9. Always log off

Remember to log off from Business Internet Banking and close your browser when you have finished your online banking. This will clear all traces of your visit from the computer's memory.

10. Password protect your computer

This will prevent other people from using it if it is left unattended or stolen.

11. Disable the 'AutoComplete' function within your browser

The 'AutoComplete' function on your computer stores information that you have previously entered, eg: addresses and passwords. Typically, the browser's own 'Help' function will tell you how to do disable the function.

12. Don't use administrator mode

It's a good idea not to use your computer in administrator mode because anyone who gains access to it will then have almost unlimited rights to see stored data or download software - including viruses. It's far better to make a user account and log in with that for day-to-day use.

13. Secure your wireless network

A wireless network allows you to connect your computer to the internet without having to use a cable. It typically contains a wireless router, which uses radio signals to transfer data to computers within the network.

Wireless routers come preset to very insecure settings to help users connect to them for the first time - but this also means that other people could access your internet account quite easily. For this reason, you should always consult your manual or online guide to find out how to connect more securely through your wireless network - usually by creating a password.

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