How do you act responsibly? Don’t believe just anything you read on the Internet, and always apply a healthy dose of suspicion when surfing. You should also protect your computer and your mobile devices with a secure password.
- When surfing the Internet, always remain wary and consider carefully where and to whom you provide any personal information.
- Financial institutions, telecommunications and other service providers will never ask you for a password (neither by e-mail nor on the telephone) and will not ever ask you to change your password in this manner either.
- When using mobile devices (smartphones, tablets), you should take the same precautions as you do on your PC at home.
As often as not, users themselves are the greatest risk factor – apply a dose of common sense. Just one example: With phishing, fraudsters for instance send you an e-mail or ring you up pretending to work for your financial institution and try to coax you into clicking on a certain link, to lure you to a website which looks almost identical to that of your financial institution. If you fall for this and provide them with your access data, these fraudsters can then clear out your bank account. Always remember: A reputable financial institution will never ask you for your e-banking access data in an e-mail. You should therefore apply a healthy dose of suspicion.
Handle your passwords carefully
Short, not too complex passwords are not secure, since attackers may for instance be able to guess them. In particular last names, children’s or pets’ names, words of any popular language, key sequences (for instance “asdg” or “45678”) or birthdays must not be used. The best protection is offered by a random combination of at least 10 uppercase and lowercase letters plus numbers and special characters. Don’t always use the same password everywhere, but use different passwords for different choices, and don’t tell them to anybody else. Remember your passwords, or keep them in a safe place. You can find further information on this here.
What to do
Just about any online service requires you to choose a user name and password. Hardly anyone is able though to remember all those passwords. So-called password managers can be helpful in this respect, which will store all your passwords in encrypted form, and protected by a so-called master password.
Smartphone and Tablet
We recommend the following password managers for use with smartphones and tablets, some of which are free:
- eWallet (http://www.iliumsoft.com)
- KeePass (http://www.keepass.info)
- Password Safe (http://www.passwordsafe.de)
- SecureSafe (http://www.securesafe.com)
Should you use a mobile banking facility on your smartphone, it is really vital to read the following supplementary security hints in our article on «Mobile Banking».