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Computer and mobile device threats

Understand any potential security threats to your computer and mobile devices to help protect both your personal and financial details while you're online.


Cybercriminals are often looking for ways to take our hard-earned money - one of the ways they might do this is through a tactic called ‘phishing.’ Much like the real concept of fishing, criminals are the fishermen here.

These criminals will send fake messages or emails that appear to come from a legitimate business to ‘lure’ you into sharing your personal information with them so they can commit further crimes (like stealing your money or identity). They may also trick you into downloading malicious software.

Remember that ANZ will never send you an email or message asking for sensitive online banking details (such as your password, PIN, one-time passcode, or ANZ Shield code).

Be extra diligent if you’re contacted unexpectedly by someone:

  • asking you to verify online banking details, like your Customer Registration Number, username, password, PIN or One-Time Passcodes (OTP)
  • claiming to alert you to suspicious activity on your bank account and asks you to log in (or download remote access software) using a link or attachment in an email or message.
  • asking you to click on a link, QR code or download an attachment.

Tips to help you protect yourself from phishing

  • Never share your personal or financial details (e.g., account numbers, passwords, PINs, OTPs) with anyone.
  • Never click on links or download attachments in an unexpected email or message.
  • Always verify that requests are legitimate by contacting the organisation on a verifiable number.
  • Be wary of the warning signs of a suspicious message (such as, a sense of urgency, an email address that doesn’t look quite right, unexpected links or attachments, etc).


Short for ‘malicious software,’ malware is software or code that is designed to exploit a computer or mobile device. This software or code could be used to:

  • steal important information (such as your banking details or credit card details).
  • commit cybercrime.
  • damage your device.
  • hold your device for ransom.

Emails and SMS messages are two of the prime movers for malware. Malware is often within attachments or links and can come from someone you may or may not know.

If you receive an email with an attachment from ANZ that looks suspicious - don’t open it; instead, report it to us immediately.

It’s important to be aware that malware can be spread in other unconventional ways, such as through unverified apps, free games or ‘malvertising,’ where engaging with an online advertisement can redirect you to a malicious website or install malware on your computer or mobile device.

Types of malware include ransomware, trojans, viruses, worms, spyware, and adware.


Ransomware works by locking up your computer or mobile device; or encrypting your files so you can’t access them. The cybercriminal will demand a ransom, that is, some form of payment in exchange for access to the device or the files within it.

There is no guarantee that a cybercriminal will uphold their end of the bargain even if the ransom is paid.


A Trojan is a type of malicious software that is disguised as a normal file. If your computer is infected with a Trojan, it will take control of your device, stealing data and introducing viruses that corrupt your files and leave you vulnerable to attacks from hackers.

While some Trojans appear as pop-ups, you might not be able to see others at all, although they can silently be causing havoc for your computer.


A virus is software that spreads from computer to computer (or mobile device to mobile device), attacking the way each operates and corrupting data. The virus attaches itself to a program like an app, file, spreadsheet, or word document, and runs when that file is opened, allowing it to reproduce and attach itself to other programs.

Viruses can also spread via emails and are known as email viruses. An email virus usually replicates automatically by sending itself out to everyone in your email contacts list.


A worm can be just as destructive to your computer as a virus. Worms work by finding a security breach in your computer’s network and then replicating itself between devices.


Spyware is software that secretly monitors your device and online activity. It might record your keystrokes or take screengrabs of the websites you visit, capturing any confidential information you have entered, such as credit card details and passwords. Other spyware collects information on the websites you visit, how long you spend on each one and which ads you click on.


Adware is a type of spyware that shows you adverts like pop-ups and banner ads whenever you are online, interrupting your browsing session and slowing down your computer. Adware also tracks the sites you visit, the articles you read and the adverts you click on, allowing it to customise future ads you see and sell information on your online habits to interested third parties.

Learn more about security software that can help to protect your device from malicious software >

Tips to help you protect yourself from malware

  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware software; and ensure this is always up to date.
  • Turn on automatic updates on your device.
  • Always be cautious of scam emails, messages, or calls.
  • Never click on links or download attachments from an unexpected email or message.
  • Never provide an unsolicited caller remote access to your device.
  • Do some research before downloading software or apps to ensure you’re not downloading anything malicious.
  • Be wary of using public Wi-Fi

Unsecured Wi-Fi

As useful as public Wi-Fi can be, it can present some security risks. Cybercriminals can use unsecured networks to steal sensitive information or commit other cybercrimes for their financial gain, including but not limited to:

  • Stealing your passwords
  • Snooping for confidential data
  • Business email compromise
  • Infecting your device with malware
  • Gaining remote access your device
  • Identity theft

Tips to help you protect yourself from the risks of unsecured wi-fi

  • Use your own mobile hotspot to get your other devices connected online
  • Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is running and up to date
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all accounts, where possible
  • Close applications and log out of any account that you don’t need to use while online
  • Avoid filling in sensitive information (e.g. passwords, credit card detail, etc.) while connected to public networks
  • Ensure your list of saved Wi-Fi networks is limited to those you trust

Security controls for your business

As an ANZ customer you also play an important part in protecting your online banking transactions. Online security is a shared responsibility between ANZ, you as a valued customer and your employees. To assist you in protecting your information assets we have provided you with some helpful tips below about common security controls that you can implement in your workplace.

Network controls

  • Use a firewall as a gatekeeper between your company computers and the Internet.
  • Download software security patches on a regular basis.
  • Secure your wireless network.

Install anti-malware software

Malware (malicious software) is any kind of software or code designed to exploit a computer. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and other malicious programs. ANZ strongly recommends that you install and maintain anti-malware software on all computers within your organisation.

  • Ensure all your company computers have anti-malware protection software installed and this software is up-to-date.
  • Update anti-malware software on a regular basis.
  • Install IBM® Security Trusteer RapportTM financial malware protection software

Scan files and e-mail

Many hoax emails contain viruses or Trojan horses (key logger), which are downloaded to your computer when you open an attachment or embedded link.

  • Perform malware scans on your all computers on a regular basis.
  • Perform malware scans on all incoming emails.
  • Employ email rules for accepting incoming emails into your network.
  • Control external file drive access on your computers to limit the risk to malicious software being installed within your network.

Ensure that all employees are aware of proper security practices. For example people should know how to update anti-malware protection software, how to download security upgrades from software vendors and how to create a proper password.

  • Ensure staff do not share user credentials to gain access to ANZ online banking platforms.
  • Control access to your online banking functions by administering permissions to system functions for employees within your organisation. These are sometimes called role permissions. This will help reduce your internal fraud risk.
  • Ensure that employees do not leave their computers unlocked and unattended. They should either shut it down or physically disconnect from the Internet connection. This lessens the chance that someone will be able to access the computer.
  • Ensure your employees follow the advice provided in How to protect your security credentials.
  • Only use reputable computer repair and maintenance vendors to ensure you have adequate security.
  • Implement robust information security policies and practices to ensure the safety of your organisations information assets.

 Learn more about security from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Visit the ACSC

The information on this page does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you and read the relevant terms and conditionsProduct Disclosure Statement and the ANZ Financial Services Guide (PDF) before acquiring any product. 

Applications for credit subject to approval. Terms and conditions available on application. Fees and charges apply. Australian credit licence number 234527.