Check the website address
Check for https (s for secure) and the padlock symbol on the login page of your banking/shopping website; they indicate the information you send and receive will be encrypted, so that it cannot be read if it is intercepted on its way over the Internet.
Always Log Off
Always log out of your Internet bank, or any website where you've put in a username and password to get in. This effectively closes the door behind you. If you simply close the window, your Internet banking will be open to hackers for a few minutes after you've left it. NB: the terms log out, log off, sign out and sign off are all identical in meaning. Look for a link like this on your Internet banking website:
Keep Internet banking details secure
Keep Internet banking details secure, don't write them down or email them unless they are in a disguised form which only you can understand. Don't tell them to anyone; even telephone banking staff will only ask you for some of the letters of your password, not the whole thing.
Use secure passwords for Internet shopping and banking. Don't use a password that anyone who half knows you could guess, like the name of your children/spouse/pet. Include upper and lower case letters, and numbers. You can make it easier to remember by incorporating the numbers into the word. For example, use the number 0 instead of the letter o; thus Sidm0uth is more secure than sidmouth; S1dm0uth is even better. Putting in capital letters and numbers greatly increases the number of possible passwords a hacker must try to get in, and so makes it much more difficult.
Check your bank's website for further security advice, or see www.banksafeonline.org.uk
Finally, we recommend using a credit card rather than a debit card for Internet shopping. With a debit card, the money comes out of your account immediately, and you have to persaude the bank to give it back if you've been defrauded. With a credit card, the money remains with you while any fraud is investigated.