is something I refuse to do. I actually refuse to do any banking over the internet.
"It's perfectly safe Cat!" people keep telling me.
No, it isn't. Even with "two-step verification" it is not safe - or not safe enough for me. If I want to buy something then I put the money into what I call a "one-off" account and use that.
Yes, I know I could do something similar in order to pay one of the utilities bills but why should I? I know that sometimes I get charged a little extra but I have a receipt if I pay a bill at the Post Office...just as I always insist on a receipt in the supermarket.
I pay bills on time. I budget to do that. I also do that because I expect to be able to use the service for which I am paying. It seems to me however that this does not necessarily work in reverse.
Not so long ago I went into the bank. The bank teller actually complained about the way she had to serve me. "You should be doing all this online," she told me. When I told her I didn't do internet banking she told me, "Well you should. You will need to do it one day."
Perhaps I will but there are going to need to be greater levels of security than there are now. It is alarming just how much information a "hacker" can get.
Just over two weeks ago an actual bank phoned me. The person at the other end introduced herself properly, asked me if I was comfortable about talking to her and quoted the letter I had sent to the bank. I told her that I would not give her any personal information but she told me enough that I was convinced the call was legitimate. We briefly discussed the issue in question and that was that. Last Friday I missed a call. It appeared as a text message. The name she had given me was the same. The matter she was referring to was the same. It all seemed legitimate. There were two phone numbers in the message, the source and the number I was supposed to ring to speak to her again.
Something however seemed off to me. I thought the matter had been concluded. Why was the bank contacting me again? I didn't make the call. I looked up the reverse telephone directory on the net. The numbers did not match up with the names I should have been given. I did not call back. I have not heard any more.
Now I am left wondering whether the person I first talked to was a legitimate employee of the bank. If not, how did they get the information in the letter? They could not access an account through that as I do not have an account with that bank. Nevertheless I am concerned. If even a letter followed by a simple conversation that did not include any more than the bare minimum of information can result in a suspicious text message then why should I trust internet banking?