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Computer threats

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

Phishing scams

A phishing scam is when you receive a hoax email, text or social media post that looks like it's come from a legitimate company like your bank, mobile phone or internet service provider.

The phishing scammer wants to trick you into giving them your personal information such as your password, bank account or credit card number. Be extra diligent if you receive an email that:  

  • asks you to verify details like your Customer Registration Number, username, password or PIN
  • gets you to fill out your personal details for a survey, in exchange for a prize
  • claims to alert you to suspicious activity on your bank account and asks you to log in using a link in the email.

Remember that ANZ will never send an you an email asking for your account details, financial details, or your log in details for ANZ Phone Banking, ANZ Mobile Banking or ANZ Internet Banking.

Protect yourself from phishing scams

Be aware of what to look out for in suspicious emails. Typical signs include:

  • misspellings and poor grammar
  • patchy graphics or design
  • asking for personal information, usernames or passwords
  • not addressing you by name at the start of the message
  • a sense of urgency, claiming that your immediate attention is needed
  • an email address that doesn’t look quite right
  • links to click on or attachments to open.

Spyware and adware

Spyware

Spyware is software that secretly monitors your computer and online activity. It might record your keystrokes or take screengrabs of the websites you visit, capturing any confidential information you’ve 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

Adware is a type of spyware that shows you adverts like pop-ups and banner ads whenever you’re 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 protect your computer against spyware and adware. 

Viruses and Worms

Viruses

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

Computer 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. 

Worms 

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.

Trojans

A Trojan is a type of malicious software (malware) that’s disguised as a normal file. If your computer’s infected with a Trojan, it’ll 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.

 Learn more about security from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Visit the ACSC

Any advice 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 Conditions, Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide (PDF 104kB) before acquiring any product.