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Barclays launches new online anti-fraud initiative

Barclays, the global financial services provider, has introduced free anti-virus software and text message updates for its customers.

In a bid to tackle the ongoing problem of online fraud, Barclays will now offer online customers F-Secure’s anti-virus software free of charge. The software prevents viruses and worms being downloaded to a computer, scans emails and protects users against spyware.

Barclays is also introducing an SMS text message service, notifying customers when new third party payments are set up on their account. The free service will send a text message when an online payment is made for the first time, enabling customers to alert the bank immediately if the transaction is suspicious.

Online banking has revolutionized the way people manage their money and we are constantly working to keep our services as secure as possible, said Barnaby Davis, director of electronic banking Barclays.

Because online banking is so secure, fraudsters have turned their attention to customers and target them to specifically get their security details for their accounts. It is important that customers take sensible steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim – for example keeping personal information such as pin numbers and passwords secret, never revealing log in details and signing out after using secure websites.

The problem of Internet fraud grows, are using increasingly sophisticated methods to extract secure details from customers of both banks and retailers.

Common tactics of online fraudsters include sending emails claiming to be from a bank asking for personal and security information, and installing software on a customer’s PC which can record security and log-in details.