Banks multiply alerts to homebanking users

Banks do not risk any distraction from less experienced or more confident users, and are taking on the role of “security educators”. It is almost impossible to visit online banking services without being bombarded with security alerts.

Some limit themselves to being explanatory, while others require users to make themselves aware, which also serves as proof to the bank that customers were aware of the possible dangers.

Since online banking services were launched in Portugal more than a decade ago, never so many alerts have been made to users and, although official fraud numbers are not known and banks are – as traditional – averse to disclosing these data, everything suggests that fraud is increasing significantly.

The pressure through phishing emails and other fraudulent schemes continues to grow and even the improvement of security systems, with the adoption of matrix cards (through which combinations are required to authenticate transactions) and unique passwords (one time passwords) ), issued by SMS, do not appear to be sufficient.

In fact, it is on the Matrix Cards that a large part of the notices are applied, alerting the users of the services not to provide more than the number of positions usually requested, as in the case of Caixa Geral de DepĂłsitos, Montepio, BPI and BES, for example. .

warning cgd
montepio warning

SMS Tokens are also the target of a special alert from CGD, which asks customers to never validate an operation they have not requested, even if they receive an SMS.


The pedagogical role that banks have taken to protect their customers goes so far as to alert to the need to keep the computer up to date, an antivirus and a firewall, as is the case with Millennium BCP, which also regularly sends security email newsletters .

Millennium BCP

Barclays also has this informational stance, maintaining a complete information page.


The latest known numbers of scams on the Internet were released last year by the PJ, which pointed to a 20% growth in the first half of 2009.

Rogério Bravo, inspector of the Judiciary Police, criticized banks at the time for delaying the adoption of strong, safer and less vulnerable systems of figures.

Fatima Hunter