To protect your account, we have a global network of security experts who work round the clock to identify threats and investigate suspicious activity. If we see something unusual that doesn't fit your banking profile, we'll try to stop the transaction being completed - and contact you to check if it's valid. If we discover someone has used your account to make unauthorised payments or transfers, we'll take steps to minimise the impact on you. These steps include blocking transactions, suspending your account temporarily or closing your account and opening a new one.
Log on security
You choose your own log on details when you register for online banking - which makes them unique, secure and easy to remember. Each time you log on, you'll be asked for your username, the answer to a memorable question and a unique code your personal Secure Key will generate.
If you forget your Secure Key, don't worry, you can use your password to log on. And instead of using your keyboard, you can enter it using your mouse on an on-screen keyboard to prevent malicious software on that computer from recording what you type. We also use an automatic time-out feature that ends your online banking session if you forget to log out - so your details aren't left on your computer.
When you manage your HSBC accounts online, advanced encryption software stops anyone accessing your information when it passes between your computer and our secure systems. You know you're in a secure, encrypted area when you see https in the web address - and the locked padlock symbol in your browser status bar at the bottom of the page.
There are 2 types of firewall. A personal firewall protects your computer from hackers and viruses. Network firewalls protect private networks - and let you control who can access them. At HSBC we use network firewalls to protect your personal information and account details. To protect your computer, you should activate the firewall in your operating system - or install a separate firewall if your system doesn't have one.
Digital certificates are ID cards for web pages. They contain a company's name, a unique serial number and a digital signature - so you can check that the page you're viewing is legitimate.
HSBC's extended validation digital certificate turns the address bar in your browser green. To read the details, double click on the locked padlock symbol in your browser status bar at the bottom of the page - or on the green address bar at the top.
Card fraud protection
We take a number of preventive measures to protect you against card fraud:
- if your card is lost or stolen, at home or overseas, we'll cancel it immediately and issue a replacement
- our advanced fraud detection system monitors your account for any unusual activity
- Chip & PIN technology (where available), stops your card details being copied and prevents anyone using your card without your 4-digit PIN
- A special secure system for American Express cards makes transactions more secure and reduces the risk of fraud
Our online banking security guarantee gives you cover for unauthorised or fraudulent payments and transfers from your HSBC account. So you won't be held liable for any transactions you haven't authorised. You'll also be reimbursed for the full amount if anyone uses your HSBC credit or debit card details to pay for anything online.
If you suspect you've been a victim of fraud you should report it immediately.