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Banking safety tips

When it comes to keeping your account safe, it pays to be proactive. Follow these tips and protect your personal and financial information.

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Access Internet Banking securely

When you access your account online to use online banking safely:

  • Avoid accessing your bank account at public computers
  • Don’t disclose your personal security details, eg. Account number, PIN or security code to anyone
  • If you find any unusual pop-up screen or the computer response is unusually slow, please do not provide your personal details and/or credit card information and report immediately to our Customer Services Hotline
  • Do not fall for money-laundering scams. Be wary of any 'business opportunity' that involves receiving or holding money for strangers
  • Secure your wireless network by encrypting the information you send over your network

When you use HSBC Personal Internet Banking, remember that

  • We will not display your personal information in emails or ask you to confirm any personal data by replying emails1
  • We will only ask for your partial second password and never ask for your full second password when you use dual password mode to log on to HSBC Personal Internet Banking, for your online banking protection
  • We will not ask you to provide excessive information such as name, date of birth, HK ID/passport number, credit card number, CVV/CVC code and the expiry date
  • We will not provide any hyperlinks to the HSBC Personal Internet Banking Logon page in our emails or SMS

1The only exception is when responding to your enquiry, our customer service officers may contact you via email whereby some personal information is required. In such a case, please note that the email will be sent through and stored in an encrypted form in our secured internet banking platform (HSBC Personal Internet Banking) and you are required to log on using your Username and password to access such emails

Use your Security Device / Mobile Security Key to transact safely online

  • Register your third party transfer accounts for added security when transferring money online
  • Verify the account number of the beneficiary before initiating any payment to a third party
  • Don’t use the yellow button on security device during log on to HSBC Personal Internet Banking. The yellow button is mainly for transferring funds to third parties
  • Never enter unfamiliar digits into the security device for transaction signing with the yellow button
  • Review your transfer limits regularly and to adjust them to suit your transaction needs. High transfer limits may expose your account to unnecessary risks


Protect your PIN

  • Never disclose your personal security details such as account number or PIN to anyone, even if they claim to be from the bank or the police
  • Memorise your PIN and don’t write it down
  • Choose a PIN that’s hard to guess
  • Use different PINs for different websites and channels (ATM, Phone Banking, Internet Banking)
  • Keep the keypad covered when you enter your PIN and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder
  • Remember that Phone PIN verification is only required when you agree to apply for products and you will need to input the PIN directly into the voice response system


Monitor your account actively

Check your statements as soon as you receive them. If you spot any unusual transactions, report them to the bank immediately. Use HSBC Personal Internet Banking or the HSBC Mobile Banking app to check transactions on your account more frequently.

Always keep the electronic receipt for fund transfers and bill payment transactions to help you verify transactions.


Secure mobile banking

  • Do not store your Personal Internet Banking/HSBC Mobile Banking username and password on your mobile handset or tablet
  • Instal and update the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software regularly on your mobile handsets and tablets, whenever available
  • Avoid sharing your device with others and use your own handset or tablet to log on
  • Do not leave your handset or tablet unattended after logging on to Personal Internet Banking or HSBC Mobile Banking. Always log off properly when you are finished
  • Wipe data on your old phone or tablet before you donate, resell or recycle it
  • If you lose your mobile phone or tablet, please tell us immediately. You should also review your account transaction history through Personal Internet Banking. If there are any suspicious transactions, please contact Customer Service Hotline and report to us immediately. You should also enable remote wiping
  • Set up auto-lock and passcode lock to prevent unauthorised access to your handsets and tablets
  • When using Wi-Fi, only use trusted Wi-Fi networks or service providers and enable security protection such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), if possible
  • Disable Bluetooth if you are not using it, or set the smartphone or tablet to non-discovery mode
  • Use the default browsers originally provided on your device rather than newly installed browsers downloaded from other sources
  • Do not use any jailbroken handsets or tablets which may have security loopholes to log on to Personal Internet Banking
  • Do not instal applications on your mobile handsets or tablets from sources unless you trust the source. Understand the permissions of mobile applications before you instal them. Do not use untrusted custom virtual keyboards
  • Instal updates and patches to your smartphone and tablet regularly, including upgrades/updates to your OS and other mobile applications. Enable data encryption on your handset or tablet if possible
  • Always type in the address directly into the browser. If you use the HSBC Mobile Banking app, only download it from official application stores, to avoid going to fraudulent websites
  • Our Personal Internet Banking website uses EV TLS Certificate (Extended Validation Transport Layer Security Certificate). In the Safari browser, a padlock and the bank name will appear in green at the top of the browser. (Note: the padlock and the bank name may be hidden on some screens and they will show up when you scroll down the screen manually)


Protect yourself from ATM fraud

  • Stay vigilant and don’t allow yourself to be distracted when transacting
  • Don’t allow strangers to help you in any way when you are transacting
  • Keep the keypad covered when you enter your PIN and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder
  • Keep your ATM / Credit Card safely at all times
  • HSBC ATM’s in Hong Kong have only the following types of card insert slots. Should you notice any suspicious device, please cancel your transaction, take your card back and inform the bank immediately
  • Four types of current card insert slot for HSBC ATMs
the four common types of  card insert slows for HSBC ATMS
  • If you notice any suspicious devices (card readers, pin-hole cameras etc.) or if the PIN shield has been removed or loosened, report this to the bank immediately

Use the telephone safely

When you receive a call anyone claiming to be from the bank:

  • Note down or save the caller number, if it is available
  • Request complete company information of the caller before you continue with the conversation. For example: name of the department and office number of the caller
  • Question the caller as to how the contact phone number was obtained and the source of the account information
  • Ask for information about the account provided by the caller. For example: the source of account information
  • Request the caller to call you back if the sound quality is questionable
  • Request branch network information to submit personal information
  • Never disclose personal information until you are confident of the caller's identity
  • Never disclose any sensitive personal information (eg password or user ID) to the caller, since HSBC will not require customers to provide sensitive personal information through phone calls or emails
  • Hang up at any time during the conversation if you feel uncomfortable about the call

If you prefer not to receive marketing information and telemarketing calls from HSBC, please inform us through these channels:

  • Call (852) 2233 3000
  • Mail your request to "The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, PO BOX 72677, Kowloon Central Post Office, Kowloon, Hong Kong"
  • Visit any HSBC branch

We’ll arrange to have your contact number excluded from our marketing lists, without charge, in 7 calendar days.

Keep your credit card safe

When you use your credit card :

  • Try to keep your card in sight and ensure that your card is returned to you after the transaction
  • Check your credit card slips carefully before you sign them and do not sign slips without an amount
  • Keep all card receipts / statements in a safe place or destroy them securely, to prevent identity theft
  • Do not disclose your credit card number over the phone, unless you are dealing with a reputed company
  • Avoid entering credit card information when using public computers such as those in internet cafes, or when using websites that are not secure
  • Cover ATM keypad when entering the PIN, change PIN after performing transactions overseas

To protect your cards:

  • Sign your cards as soon as you receive them
  • Treat cards like cash. Never leave them unattended or lend them to anyone
  • Carry only the cards that you need
  • Make a list of credit card numbers and the telephone numbers that you should use to report lost and stolen cards. Keep the list in a safe place, away from the cards
  • Check your card expiry date. If a replacement card has not arrived at least one week before your current card expires, contact the bank to find out why
  • Do not respond to emails that ask you to provide credit card information

To use your card safely online: