Almost half (46 per cent) of Internet users believe traditional over-the-counter banking is safer than banking online, according to a survey carried out by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. Despite these fears, most people still make payments online but as many as one in five fail to take even basic security measures, putting their money and banks’ reputations at risk.
One of the easiest ways for criminals to access online bank accounts is to pose as the account owner. This can be done by getting information about the account, setting up a phishing page where users unwittingly hand over their usernames and passwords, or by intercepting username and password data with a banking Trojan when users log on to their bank’s legitimate pages. Traditional computers and mobile devices are both vulnerable to these attacks.
The survey shows that a significant number of users (49 per cent) feel vulnerable when making financial transactions online. Moreover, half (54 per cent) reported they believe making payments offline is more reliable than online and 46 per cent agreed that offline banking is the safer than online banking.
However, in spite of these fears, the majority of Internet users make online payments: 79 per cent of those surveyed use their desktops or laptops for online payments, 52 per cent use their tablets, 45 per cent use their smartphones, and twelve per cent of Smart-TV owners admitted using their Smart-TV for such operations. At the same time, according to the survey, one in five users do nothing to protect their financial data online.
“Both banks and consumers need to be aware that if customers prefer in-branch banking, purely from fear of falling victim to Internet fraud, it will hinder the implementation of online and mobile payment systems. This means banks will need to invest more of their resources in low margin branches as an alternative. Meanwhile, the banks who have embraced online and mobile payments may have a persistent security concern as they could be putting their money and reputation at unnecessary risk otherwise. With this in mind, it is imperative that banks invest in the technology which ensures customers are kept safe in a secure banking environment. This approach will not only give those customers who prefer traditional banking the confidence that online banking is secure, it will also diminish the risk for more careless customers, who might otherwise lose vital financial information,” said Kirill Slavin, general manager, Kaspersky Lab UK&I.