How to protect yourself

Learn how criminals operate online – and how you can protect your computer, your cards and your personal information.

From viruses and spyware to phishing and fake websites

Protect your computer

How secure is your computer? Keeping your operating system, browser and security software up-to-date will protect you against threats from hackers, viruses and spyware.

Basic maintenance tips

Using security software

Stay safe online

As well as protecting your computer, you should take steps to keep your personal information safe when you're banking, browsing and shopping online – and when you're using email and Instant Messenger.

Banking online


Browsing and shopping online


Secure your mobile phone or tablet

Using a mobile phone or tablet computer is a very convenient way to bank. But make sure you apply what you know about staying safe online in the same way as the same threats are there.

Here are a few simple tips:

Keep your device safe

Use only trusted devices and software

General points to note

Prevent card and identity theft

From skimming your card at an ATM to stealing your mail, there are lots of ways a criminal can get hold of your card details and personal information. So it's important you know how to stop them.

Using ATMs

Choosing a PIN

Protecting your mail

Protecting your cards while you're travelling

Recognize fraud

Some hints to recognize fraud:

  • The padlock symbol is in the wrong place.
  • You receive an urgent request to verify your account details.
  • You receive a letter saying you've been pre-approved for credit

Here's how to spot the fake websites, phone scams and illicit offers in the post, and how to protect your card from being used fraudulently:


Phone fraud

Mail fraud


Know your responsibilities

It's important to review the terms and conditions of every product and service you use. They contain information on the steps you need to take to prevent fraud including:

  • Review your account statements regularly and advise of any errors, omissions or irregularities including fraud and unauthorized activity within 30 days1.
  • Keep your Secret Codes including Electronic Banking Number and Online Banking Logon Information confidential and take all reasonable precautions to maintain the secrecy and prevent unauthorized use2.
  • Avoid accessing your online banking information at Internet or Cyber cafes, libraries or other public Internet portals, as there may be unwanted software installed that could record your password and other keyboard activity.
  • Never input personal information on a website form or application that does not display the "https://" before a website address or a "padlock" symbol in the lower right-hand corner of the webpage. Commonly, these security symbols indicate that the site is secured by encryption technology and the information you enter is protected.
  • Do not use your (or a close relative’s) birth date, telephone number, address or readily identifiable combination of letters or numbers as a Secret Code.
  • Change your Online Banking Logon Information regularly and do not use any previously used Online Banking Password.
  • Do not record your Online Banking Logon Information anywhere.
  • Ensure that any information stored on any computer with which you access Online Banking is protected against unauthorized access by third parties.
  • Do not use "save password" features.
  • Always log off from your Online Banking when you are finished.
  • Use all browser security measures including closing the web browser or clearing the browser's cache.

For more information about using Online Banking and Security, please view our Electronic Access Agreement.

1If you fail to do so, the bank is not responsible for any preventable loss.

2You agree to be liable for any losses except those that occur after you notify the bank that you suspect the Secret Code might be known or that any unauthorized use or fraud of an account or service may be occurring.

®MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license. iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a registered trademark of Apple in Canada.

Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

We work with you to protect your account information. Under our Security Guarantee, we will fully reimburse you for unauthorized transactions conducted in your personal accounts through HSBC Online Banking or HSBC Canada Mobile Banking if you have met your security responsibilities: Know Your Responsibilities.

Security Device

The HSBC Security Device provides an extra level of protection when you bank online to ensure that only you can access your HSBC accounts.

Learn more

Watch demo

To log on or register, click here:

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