Banking Safely online

Although most people have now forgotten about the recent GoZeus & Cryptolocker virus outbreak along with the largest co-ordinated response to a Cyber-threat, the risk of a virus, trojan or other malware stealing your banking credentials is still just as real. So I thought I would share with you three ways to access your online banking safely.

Firstly using Apple’s iPad. There have been long and lenghty debates on Apples security model however there are certain benefits to the “limitations” in the way Apps work on the iPad. One of those is that until recently true multitasking wasn’t possible, but even though it is now, Apps cannot unilaterally interoperate with each other – only specific types of interaction and only with the users permission. This means its virtually impossible for for one app to spy on another app. So if you use Apple’s Safari or Google’s Chrome, you can be sure that your details are not being stolen. In addition, the only thing that will run on an iPad are Apps that have previously been through Apple’s vetting process and been approved. This means it is incapable of running the viruses, trojans and malware designed for a traditional PC

Google’s Chromebook is basically Google’s Chrome web browser on a  purpose designed and built laptop. Although there’s little fanfare about it, the firmware is digitally signed and verified at every boot verifying it hasn’t been tampered with. No other malware can inject themselves into the boot sequence and once running delivers an assured safe environment. Again like the iPad, it is incapable of running the viruses, trojans and malware designed for a traditional PC. You can currently purchase one of these in PC World or Currys for £179 which makes them somewhat of a bargain as they are a great, cheap ‘most of the day’ laptop (6-8 hours on a single charge)

I have written before of the virtues of Microsoft’s SurfaceRT or Surface 2 and here is no exception. Although it looks and feels like a traditional windows 8 machine, the simple fact that it doesn’t have a traditional Intel processor and cannot run traditional windows applications (only those available through the built-in Microsoft Store) also means it cannot run the viruses malware and other infections that plague traditional computers. It offers up to 10 hours of battery life and has the flexibility of a traditional computer with USB ports, video out, bluetooth and expandable memory – you could truly use this as your only machine.

To be clear, there are no guarantees in life. I’m not saying it’s impossible for any of these to have malware specifically written for them, however today if you used one of the above for your banking and important work (if not everything else!) you would be immune from more than  99.99% of the viruses, trojans and malware present on the internet today, and I’d be happy to discuss the remaining .01%

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