Common terms linked to security and scams

Antivirus software
Antivirus software is a computer program which detects and prevents malware such as viruses, Trojans and worms, makes them harmless or deletes them. By using antivirus software you protect your computer from malware. Various software is available in the market, both free and subject to a charge. In order for your computer to be able to also protect your computer from newer viruses, it is important that you update your antivirus software regularly. In most antivirus software, you can active a setting which installs the updates automatically.

Firewall is software or a hardware which monitors data communications and either prevents data from entering your computer or lets the data in. A firewall can prevent criminals or malware from entering your computer online. In addition, a firewall can prevent your computer from spreading malware to other computers. A firewall is not the same as antivirus software.

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on your computer’s or your smart device’s browser when you use the internet. Cookies include data on the ways you use the internet and ensures that the websites are displayed correctly. Cookies are not harmful and Netbank’s cookies are deleted every time you log out of Netbank.

Encryption means converting information into a code. Encryption prevents the unauthorised use of confidential information.

Spam is a term used for unwanted emails and spam emails sent to news groups. The most common subjects in spam emails are prescription medicines, health products, promises of quick money, online gambling and pirated software. The senders of spam email often disguise their messages in order to avoid spam filters. Spam emails are in most cases harmless, but they can be annoying and take up a lot of space in your mailbox. Do not answer spam emails or click the links in the messages. Prevent unwanted messages by using a spam filter.

Email addresses are collected for phishing and spamming in many different ways. Websites attract visitors to register their names and email addresses in order to receive information and newsletters, to download software or to become members. Some actors develop software which download email addresses online and sell them further. Lists of addresses can be purchases from dishonest companies and such companies buy these lists from each other and exchange them.

Different ways in which criminals can use to obtain your email address:

  • Web crawlers, web bots – software picking email addresses online
  • Different viruses
  • Chain letters
  • Online register; a website intended for employees or members. The register includes phone numbers and email addresses, for example.
  • Guestbooks
  • Buy and sell websites, discussion forums/chat websites
  • Ecards – your address can be collected when you send or receive an ecard.
  • Registration of a domain name – your contact information becomes public when you register a domain name.

Trojans are computer software disguised as appropriate, but in fact they perform encrypted and malicious orders such as stealing personal data from a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Certain Trojans give the criminals a chance to take control of the victim’s computer via the internet without the victim noticing it.

A virus is a computer program which can replicate itself and spread. Viruses spread from computer to computer and from one network to another without the user noticing it. Viruses are malicious software and they disturb messages, steal information, make computers jam and stop working or surrender the control of the computer to third parties.

Shoulder surfing
When you use your payment card at a store or at an ATM, somebody can stand behind you and see your PIN. If this person manages to steal your card, he or she can use it for purchases and cash withdrawals.

Criminals may deceive you into visiting fake websites. This may be difficult to notice as the fake website resembles greatly the bank's or the online shop's actual website.

Family fraud
This refers to a scam where a member of your family or one of your friends misuses your bank information such as your account, card or personal data.

Identity theft
This refers to a crime where a person’s personal data is misused. Typical cases of such crimes include acquiring a payment or credit card, taking out a loan, opening an account on a gambling site or making purchases on credit in the name of the victim.

Jailbreak, rooting
A measure to gain access to a mobile phone’s file system and thus being able to bypass the phone’s protection. By jailbreaking a phone’s protection, the user can install apps from unrealiable sources.

In clickjacking online criminals make use of the user's clicks. The user may, without knowing it, edit the settings of his or her computer or click hidden links which open websites including malicious code.

In-between or front man
A person who intermediates illegally acquired funds on behalf of other criminals is called a go-between or a front man. Criminals try to turn people into their go-betweens in many different ways. For example: you may be requested to receive funds to your account and forward them to another account.

The lure is the fact that you may keep part of the funds.

Criminals may also request you to open a new account for the purpose of transferring funds. The funds to be transferred are stolen and the action fulfils the constituent elements of money laundering. A person acting as a go-between may be considered guilty of a punishable act irrespective of whether the go-between has received financial gain or not.

Phishing is a fraudster’s way to find out personal data or card and Netbank bank information by email, over the phone or through fake websites. The purpose of phishing is to manipulate the user to disclose personal data which can be used later in identity thefts or credit transfers made in Netbank.

Read the section ‘Spam’ on how addresses are collected.

Ransomware prevents access to files on a computer until the user pays a certain amount of money to the criminal. The program may have been installed through a worm or a Trojan if the user has opened a malicious attachment or visited an infected website.

Cash trapping device
A cash trapping device is a device installed in an ATM. The device prevents the notes from coming out the ATM. When you leave the ATM thinking that it is out of order, criminals arrive with a special tool and remove the notes from the ATM. If you suspect that you have been subject to such a hoax, check if the withdrawal has been debited to your account. If you do not receive the funds you have withdrawn from the ATM, inform the bank of this.

Malicious software ("malware")
Malware is software that will be installed on your computer, tablet or mobile phone without your permission and without you knowing it. They have been developed to damage or disturb a system. Criminals also use malware to gain control of a device or to steal personal data. Examples of malware include viruses, worms and Trojans.

Card skimming and scams
In card skimming, criminals use a special card reader to copy the card's magnetic stripe. The information is then copied on another card which the criminals use to pay for purchases. The purchases will continue to be debited to your card. Card skimming takes place, for example, at ATMs and unmanned petrol stations, at stores’ payment terminals, parking meters, restaurants and in other places where card readers are used.

A computer worm is malware self-replicating in data networks and it usually causes disturbance. It may use the computer’s resources or close the entire system.

Smishing means someone trying to trick you into giving them your personal data via an SMS. When criminals try smishing, they use special software which send fake text messages. The text message includes a link “to a website”. If you click the link, a Trojan will be installed on your mobile phone and you will be requested to enter personal data on a website.

Social engineering
Social engineering refers to fraudsters manipulating their victims or swindling them to disclose confidential information. Online criminals using this method make use of trust between people and the willingness to please others. Phishing is one form of user manipulation. Most common types of social engineering are e.g. love scams, investment scams, CEO scams, smishing, phishing and vishing.

With the help of spyware, criminals can collect and steal information without your permission. Information they are interested in can include credit card numbers and passwords.

A keylogger is software recording the keys struck on a keyboard. It is usually hidden so that the user of the keyboard does not know that the keystrokes are recorded. The fraudster may see the passwords you use for different services and emails you have written, among other things.

Different types of scams

The best way to protect yourself from scams is to know how to spot them. Stay one step ahead of fraudsters by learning about the various types of scams that are out there.

Learn about common scams

Seven tips for secure banking

Follow our latest seven tips to ensure secure use of our banking services.

See our tips

Security for our personal and corporate customers

Read how you can protect yourself from scams and what to do if you are scammed.

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