Do you need an antivirus program on your Mac?
Yes, any computer - which also includes Mac - should run an up-to-date antivirus program. Even if there is only few known malware for Mac around at present, you can stop this from spreading, i. e. by exchanging data via USB sticks etc, this way. In addition, you are then on the safe side if the amount of malware was to suddenly increase.
How safe is e-banking on holiday?
You should only ever send payments via e-banking from trustworthy computers. A computer is considered trustworthy if it runs up-to-date antivirus software and a firewall and is kept up to date via automatic updates at all times. You must also make sure that the computer has not been manipulated.
Public computers such as those provided in Internet cafes don't fulfil these requirements and should therefore never be used for e-banking.
With computers made available by hotels (e. g. in the hotel lobby), you can never be sure whether these are actually trustworthy, and these can therefore pose a risk. Ask the hotel staff how their computer is protected. In any case, it is always advisable to use a hardened browser (e. g. on a USB stick). After every e-banking session you also must make sure that you log out correctly, and that you delete both the Internet history and the browser cache.
If you carry your own notebook with you, the following approach should be taken:
- Make sure that the address bar shows https, and that you can see the lock symbol
- Check the bank's certificate (further information)
- Make sure the WLAN is encrypted (at least WPA/WPA2)
What protection does antivirus software offer?
Antivirus software protects you against malware and its consequences, for instance theft of access data or documents, or damage to your system. Antivirus software is kept up to date via the update function, so that it can also recognise new types of malware.
What protection does a personal firewall offer?
A personal firewall is meant to check all incoming and outgoing data traffic to and from a computer against a set of certain rules, serving to control, for instance, access to data, documents or software. If required, a firewall also alerts users to risks from the Internet, and to any suspicious events.
How important is it to update computer programs?
Updates for your operating system and any other software running on your machine are of vital importance. Updates patch any security gaps discovered, which is of particular importance as new malware often exploits new security gaps to intrude into a computer. If possible, you should therefore activate all automatic software updates.
What is the browser cache (browser history)?
The browser cache (browser history) is what the buffer memory of a browser (e. g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome) is called. This cache is used to store information (e. g. cookies) such as websites visited etc. This is meant to help with websites loading more quickly the next time you access the same sites. With e-banking sessions, browsers also store certain information. For this reason, you must make absolutely sure to erase your browser cache after every e-banking session.