Which? Magazine names Halifax and Santander as worst for e-banking security

That isn't to say that the state of security of online banking is great in the UK, however, as the magazine found leading Nationwide scoring only 69%, Infosecurity notes.

HSBC did not come out well in the review, perhaps because it is only recently that the bank has started rolling out a two-factor authentication key system for its retail customers.

Delving into the analysis shows that, whilst NatWest, RBS and Barclays did relatively well, Lloyds-TSB and HSBC's First Direct operation fell into the bottom half in terms of online banking security.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said that his team was alarmed to find significant flaws in the online security of some of the UK's biggest banks.

“If you find you’ve been a victim of fraud, then contact your bank immediately. They can only refuse to refund you if they can prove you were negligent or you acted fraudulently. If your bank refuses a refund, you can take them to the Financial Ombudsman”, he said.

As a result of its survey findings, Which? advises online banking users to avoid public computers and public access WiFi networks, as well as to install – and update – the latest anti-virus plus anti-spyware software.

Finally, says Which?, if someone contacts you by phone or email claiming to be from your bank or credit card company, don’t give out any personal details without first making sure they are who they say they are, for example by phoning them back.

“In reality, your bank will never ask you for your PIN or password over the phone, they simply don’t need that information. If someone’s asking for it, they’re almost certainly a fraudster”, says the report.

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