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Need some online banking advice pleeeease :-)

Travel Forums General Talk Need some online banking advice pleeeease :-)

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1. Posted by Steph1985 (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

Hi guys, i have a query. I'm doing a trip starting in September that will begin in the States and end in Europe in about April. My friend and i are travelling together. She has a laptop but doesn't think it will be a good idea to bring it, however, it's then not safe to do any kind of online banking or book anything you need to put banking details into on a public computer in an internet cafe. What would be the best way to get around this without having to constantly communicate back home to get someone to book for you. Would you suggest that perhaps it IS a good idea to take a laptop?

Any advice would be great.

2. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 9y

It depends on the kind of travelling you are doing. Backpacking or other. If backpacking then I probably wouldn't take a laptop. I was in Europe for 3 months backpacking and had no issues with booking stuff. I never checked my bank account myself, i just got hime to do it for me. I booked an payed for stuff without ever having to access my account. Bringing a laptop can be an unwanted annoyance despite its convenience. First you still need internet for the laptop etc. Then safety issues etc. If backpaing i would say in favor of not having it. But in saying this, if you are not backpaking then probably it might be worth thinking about, if you are staying at friends or in hotels then safety is less of an issue also internet. Also, you seem to be away for a long time so it gives you somewhere to put your photos on etc. Ultimately you need to weigh up how often you will actuall use the laptop aswell. If you only check your bank accounts once every couple of weeks and most of the time it is just emails and messaging then its not worth it. Anyway hope that gives you something to think about.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Hi Steph,

Ive been travelling for over a year now using online banking and have had no problems. I accessed it regularly (every few days) in every country I was in. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I always assumed it was pretty safe.

I'd be lost without internet banking. I use it for two different banks in Ireland plus my Kiwi bank account.

I 'm not going to advice you on whether or not you'll be safe doing it, but I havent had any problems ;)

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Send me your account details and passwords and I'll see if I can access it

Seriously, I wouldn't have too many concerns using internet banking from an internet cafe. I've done it in the past without any problem, and unless you are negligent in keeping your details private, it's the bank that wears the loss - not you.

5. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 9y

How comfortable are you with non-windows technology?

Check out my last post in this thread (the one about knoppix):
http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=35965&start=11#Post20

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 10, 2007, at 9:43 PM by fuzzypuppy ]

6. Posted by daphnemaia (Full Member 155 posts) 9y

just clear the cache, and the history, each time u finish banking. never write down passwords anywhere, and as u do at ATMs, be wary of people watching u...

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

Quoting daphnemaia

be wary of people watching u...

The people watching you wrote software (keyloggers) to do the watching, which they installed on the computer and you'll never have a clue (and no, you won't see it in the process list either). The measures you mentioned are good practice to keep your webmail safe from casual snooping by a next visitor (although a keylogger would snap it all up as well, so make sure you have unique passwords and don't put anything too important in that email), but they're effectively useless against the real dangers.
No matter how many anecdotes of people using internet cafes without their bank accounts being compromised (yet), the fact is that doing something as sensitive as online banking on a public computer is inherently insecure. The only 'protection' you have is statistics (there's only so many criminals with the technical know-how to take advantage of you), but identity theft and related are the fastest growing online crimes, and it'll be a very small comfort when you're the lucky one who happened across an internet cafe which already had their computers compromised.
The first rule of computer security can be phrased as "if the bad people have physical access to the computer, it's not your computer anymore". There are few computers in this world where it's easier to get physical access than one in an internet cafe. I can't stress this strongly enough: DO NOT TRUST THEM!

Quoting james

unless you are negligent in keeping your details private, it's the bank that wears the loss - not you.

I'd strongly suspect that using a public computer for online banking would count as negligence.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 11, 2007, at 1:32 PM by Sander ]

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Oh yikes! Good to know!

Might resort to phone banking.

9. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

For some people online banking is the only option....

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Quoting Sander

Quoting james

unless you are negligent in keeping your details private, it's the bank that wears the loss - not you.

I'd strongly suspect that using a public computer for online banking would count as negligence.

Nothing in my bank account's terms and conditions about not using public computers. "Negligence" only comes up with passwords that are written down, stored with the card, etc.

In fact, here's what my bank's website has to say about using public computers.

Using ANZ Internet Banking in public places - staying safe.

- Be wary of your surroundings and ensure no one is observing you when entering in your Customer Registration Number (CRN) or password.
- Never click on links embedded within emails, rather enter the URL directly into the location/address bar.
- Ensure that there is a padlock symbol in the bottom right corner of your browser.
- Never click the 'save my password/details' option sometimes offered.
- Never change security details such as your password in a public place (ie libraries, Internet cafes).
- Do not leave your computer unattended or idle for long periods of time.
- Always log out from your internet banking session when you have finished and close the browser.
- Try to use computers that have anti-virus software installed.

So where's the negligence Sander?