Protecting your banking information – Privacy Week

It’s Privacy Week (9-15 May), and the New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA) says that the broader theme “Privacy – in your hands” is a timely reminder that while banks work hard to protect our ban ing information, we all need to take steps to help ensure our personal information is safe and secure.
The Privacy Concerns and Sharing Data (April 2016) survey commissioned by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner indicated that 75-81 percent of respondents were concerned about issues relating to identity theft, credit card and banking details, businesses sharing personal information and security of information.
“Protecting customers’ privacy is an important part of the banking relationship. Banks ensure they have good privacy policies, systems and technology in place to help protect their customers’ accounts and information,” said Karen Scott-Howman, chief executive of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association.
“Customers can be confident their banks will do their part to help protect their personal information and money, but we all have an important role to play in keeping ourselves safe from people who may be trying to exploit our personal information.”
The NZBA suggests that customers follow these tips to help protect access to their personal and banking information:

  • Protect access to your account. Don’t share your bank account login details, cards, PINs or passwords with anyone – not in person, online, over the phone, in emails or texts. Your bank will never ask you for this information.
  • Protect your PIN. When entering your PIN number at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals, shield the PIN pad with your other hand. Criminals may ‘skim’ your card details by attaching a device to the card reader, and then ‘shoulder surf’ or use hidden cameras to record your PIN.
  • Password security. Change your passwords periodically, and make sure they are not easily guessable.
  • Protect your identity information. Only provide personal information to trusted people and organisations. This includes your date of birth, address, driver licence number and passport details.
  • Check credentials and legitimacy.
    • On the phone: Don’t give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and you are sure that the number you called is genuine.
    • At home: Don’t give personal information to anyone who knocks on your door unless you have checked their credentials. Don’t ever share your cards, PIN, or account login details.
    • Online: Logon to internet banking by typing in your bank’s full web address. Do not use links in emails or text messages that appear to take you to your bank’s website. Spam emails are often disguised to look legitimate. If it doesn’t seem right, take care and double check first before handing over personal information. Always check you have a padlock symbol somewhere on the page, and that the website starts with https://. The ‘s’ stands for secure.
  • Secure software. Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.
  • Scan statements. Check your statements and/or review your transactions regularly. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.
  • Speak up. Contact your bank immediately if you think the security of your cards or accounts has become compromised in any way.

Banks each have privacy policy that outlines how they will manage customers’ information.
Your bank’s privacy policy can be found on its website or by visiting your local branch.