Simple tips from Heritage Bank to stay smart online

Heritage Bank is urging all Australians to mark Stay Smart Online Week by taking simple steps to protect their personal and financial information while connected.

This week (2-6 June) is Stay Smart Online Week - a Federal Government initiative designed to encourage people to be vigilant about security in a world where we are online more and more often.

"In recent years there’s been an explosion in the amount of time people spend online, and there’s been a similar boom in the number of financial transactions and shopping done on the net," Heritage Bank CEO Mr John Minz said.

"People are using mobile phones in particular for banking and purchases.

"Doing business online is extremely convenient but people also need to realise that they have to take precautions to protect the security of their finances."

Mr Minz said there were a number of steps people could take to be more secure on a mobile device:

  • Put a password on your phone and a PIN on your SIM card. This stops thieves getting access to your phone or using the SIM in another phone to make calls. Check out your phone’s security settings so you know how to use them.
  • Setup your device to automatically lock. If your phone has not been used for a few minutes, it should automatically lock and require a password or PIN to reactivate.
  • Encrypt your data. Some phones allow you to encrypt your data, sometimes using third-party software. Encryption secures your data if your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Consider installing security software from a reputable provider. Anti-virus, anti-theft, anti-malware and firewall software is available for some mobile phone operating systems.
  • Stay with reputable websites and mobile applications. When using any financial mobile applications, such as mobile banking, make sure to only use applications supplied by your financial institution.
  • Do not click on unsolicited or unexpected links. Even when they appear to be from friends.
  • Check your phone bill for unusual data charges or premium rate calls. Contact your service provider immediately if you discover any unusual calls or data usage on your bill.
  • Check for updates to your phone's operating system regularly. Install them as soon as they are available.
  • Be smart with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When connecting to the internet using Wi-Fi, try to use an encrypted network that requires a password. Avoid online banking or financial transactions in busy public areas and over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
  • Back up your data regularly. Set up your phone so that it backs up your data when you sync it, or back it up to a separate memory card.
  • If you recycle your phone, delete all your personal information first.
  • To assist you in case of your mobile theft or loss, ask your provider or manufacturer whether it has services such as mobile tracking and the ability to remotely wipe your information stored on the phone. For more information on other top tips in Stay Smart Online Week visit the campaign website www.staysmartonline.gov.au/awareness_week

  • For more information: Andrew Fox, Heritage Manager Corporate Communications, 0419 714 204

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.