HomeBusinessBank Fraud Protection: TSB and Co-op Customers at Risk

Bank Fraud Protection: TSB and Co-op Customers at Risk

  • TSB and Co-op are committed to protecting their customers from bank fraud through financial guarantees, customer education, and a variety of support services.

Newsypeople – Bank Fraud Protection: TSB and Co-op Customers at Risk, The recent assessment by Which? of the online security of 13 current account providers, including TSB and the Co-operative Bank, has highlighted significant concerns regarding the security measures in place for their customers. This report underscores the critical importance of robust online security for banks, especially as more people are increasingly banking online or on their phones.

Bank Fraud Protection: TSB and Co-op Customers at Risk
Bank Fraud Protection: TSB and Co-op Customers at Risk

TSB’s Security Concerns

  • Password Requirements: Which? criticized TSB for its password requirements, suggesting that users might choose insecure passwords, making them easier for scammers to crack. This issue highlights the need for banks to enforce stronger password policies to protect customer accounts.
  • Sensitive Data Handling: The report pointed out that TSB’s handling of sensitive data could potentially allow other apps running on the same phone to access this information. This raises concerns about the security of customer data and the potential for data breaches.
  • Text Alerts: TSB was found to include phone numbers in text alerts, which could be easily replicated by scammers. This indicates a loophole in their security measures that could be exploited by fraudsters.
  • Response: TSB acknowledged these issues and stated that they are under review, with a plan to consider a fix in the future. They also removed phone numbers from most SMS alerts, indicating a proactive step towards improving security.

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Co-operative Bank’s Security Issues

  • Online Security Score: The Co-operative Bank was ranked bottom in Which?’s study for online security, with a score of 61%. This low score suggests significant areas for improvement in their security measures.
  • Mobile App Security: Regarding the security of its mobile app, the Co-operative Bank scored second to last, with a score of 57%. This indicates a lack of robust security features in their mobile app, which is a critical area for banks to address.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: The bank failed to require a two-factor authentication login on a test laptop, and did not block customers from setting weak passwords. This lack of security measures makes it easier for unauthorized users to gain access to customer accounts.
  • Response: The Co-operative Bank acknowledged the issues identified by Which? and assured customers of their commitment to enhancing security controls. They plan to deliver further improvements in 2024 to ensure the safety and security of their customers.

Industry Response and Recommendations

  • Industry Focus: UK Finance emphasized that the banking and finance industry’s primary focus is on preventing fraud. They invest heavily in cybersecurity and data sharing to detect and prevent malicious actors from infiltrating systems and committing fraud.
  • Customer Awareness: It is crucial for customers to be alert to potential threats of fraud and to use secure passwords, avoid sharing one-time passcodes, and personal and financial information. If a customer suspects they have fallen for a scam, it is important to contact their bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.

The assessment by Which? has highlighted critical security loopholes in the online banking systems of TSB and the Co-operative Bank. These findings underscore the need for banks to urgently address these issues to protect their customers from potential fraud. Banks must enhance their security measures, including implementing stronger password policies, improving data handling practices, and ensuring robust two-factor authentication and mobile app security.

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