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Security Measures for Online Nanking in UK Not Enough

Which? Computing, a consumer magazine, has said in a new research that the online security mechanisms of banks in the UK are widely varied.

The study, which surveyed several important banks in the UK, found that Halifax and Abbey had insufficiently secured login methods compared to their opponents such as First Direct, Barclays, Nationwide, Lloyds TSB, RBS and NatWest amongst others. In fact, it found that the worst placed was Halifax.

According to the survey, Halifax confirms the identity of a customer by enquiring certain details. However, when these details are entered, they could be exposed to a keystroke logging virus, which monitors every keystroke to collect passwords. The same method applies to Abbey too.

Moreover, the research blames Abbey, HSBC, Halifax and Alliance & Leicester banks for lack of proper logging out procedures, especially when customers navigate to other websites, which leave their accounts vulnerable in case they are accessed on other computers within a network.

Additionally, the research assessed the UK banks' security measures pertaining to money transfers. Accordingly, Which? Computing concluded that Abbey, Halifax, HSBC and First Direct were devoid of such security controls, thus if anyone hacked into an online banking session, he could use the corresponding account for withdrawing money, as reported by Theregister on August 27, 2009.

Sarah Kidner, Editor of Which? Computing, comments - the Internet security systems are widely different among large banks but, certain simple mechanisms such as using menus that provide safety options could significantly enhance security, as reported by Theregister.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of APACS (the UK Payments Administration for banking industry) stated that malware attacks were increasingly targeting online banking consumers, a fact that prompted the industry to repeatedly remind consumers to install up-to-date antivirus software as well as an appropriate firewall, as reported by Mailonsunday on August 27, 2009.

The spokesman added that while banks might claim the hidden measures of security as the reckoning factor, it was actually the visible security measures for Internet banking accounts that customers had confidence in.

According to APACS's official statistics, Internet banking fraud increased from £22.6 Million during 2007 to £52.5 Million during 2008.

Related article: Securities Push Up A Must For Web Companies

» SPAMfighter News - 14-09-2009

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