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Could your online shopping details compromise your banking security?

16 February 2010 - 12:11 by Sarah Collinson

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With online banking details holding the key to customers' finances, the security of the login usernames and passwords used is of the utmost importance. However, recent research carried out by the security agency Trusteer reveals that in the case of banks that allow customers to choose their own login ID and password, around 65% of customers go on to reuse these same personal credentials when shopping online. Such continued reuse of the same identifiers leaves customers open to fraud, as criminals need to find these details only once in order to access a whole variety of online services.

To combat fraud based on stolen details, it is better for customers to practise safe shopping online by using one username and password for shopping accounts and another, unique username and password for accounts held with banks or building societies. If the same details are used both for shopping and banking and if a login identity becomes compromised in one place, then that same identity will simultaneously become compromised elsewhere online. Similarly, it is generally considered unwise to use the same login details on social networking sites such as MySpace, Twitter or Facebook as on shopping or banking sites. Cyber identity thieves are sometimes able to harvest credentials from these less secure sites - before attempting to reuse them to gain entry to customers' online financial services.

With an increasing number of sites now requiring customer accounts to be set up, requiring login credentials, before purchases can be made, the opportunity for details to become lost has never been greater. However, it is well worth remembering that in buying from websites that have shown genuine, proactive concern for online security, all login details used should be kept safe and entirely confidential.