Surf the Internet in safety

Protect yourself against online fraud


Online security is the responsibility of all Internet users. BNP Paribas Fortis, for instance, ensures the maximum security of PC banking. But PC banking users themselves need to contribute to optimum protection as well. That means focusing on their computer and on how they behave online. We've set out a few rules of thumb below.


1. Protect your computer


  • Always use the most up-to-date version of your operating system (e.g. Windows 7 or Mac OS X). You should certainly switch when the manufacturer ceases to provide support and maintenance for a particular operating system.
  • Always install security and other updates for your operating system. You can set it to update itself automatically.
  • Always use the most recent version of your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.). Systematically install all security updates for your browser too.
  • Make sure your computer has an active firewall. This will permanently monitor all incoming and outgoing data flows on your computer.
  • Install a good antivirus program. Viruses can harm your computer. They also reduce the security of your PC banking sessions. Once again, the rule is to update your antivirus program regularly, preferably each time you connect to the Internet.
  • Don't give viruses a chance to infect your computer. Only use the websites of known and reliable suppliers for your online purchases. Avoid websites and networks that illegally distribute software, music, films, etc.
  • Perform regular full scans of your computer using your updated antivirus program.
  • Protect your wireless Internet connection (WiFi), preferably using WPA2.


Are any of these terms unfamiliar to you? See our lexicon.


2. Be a vigilant PC banking user


Check the website

Don't simply assume that you're looking at an authentic BNP Paribas Fortis website. Fraudsters sometimes use fake websites that can closely resemble the real thing. Fortunately, there is a quick way of checking the site's authenticity:


  • Double-click the padlock symbol in the bottom right of your browser screen (or, with recent browsers, at the top);
  • Make sure the address ends with ‘'. Are there any spelling mistakes in the address? If so, it is definitely not one of our sites;
  • If you'd rather not go through all that every time, add to your browser favourites and only use that shortcut to launch PC banking.


Use your security module correctly

Your security module consists of either a card reader (combined with your bank card). Its purpose is to secure your access to PC banking and your transactions, so you need to use it very carefully:

  • Never write down the PIN code of your bank card and never share it with anyone else. BNP Paribas Fortis will never ask you for your code, whether by phone, e-mail or even via our website.
  • Logging onto PC banking? We simply ask for an M1 (red button on the card reader). We never ask you for an M2 (blue button on the card reader) when signing in;
  • An M2 (card reader) is only requested within PC banking to confirm a transaction or a change of bank service or when you use your bank card or credit card to pay for an online purchase. You only use this signature, moreover, when you yourself have initiated the transaction;
  • When you're asked on PC banking to sign a transaction, we incorporate the amounts and part of the beneficiary's account number in the signature. Always make sure these details are correct;
  • Never respond to a telephone or e-mail request to provide a digital signature with your security module. As stated already: digital signatures are only requested within PC banking or when paying for a purchase made online using your bank card or your credit card. This only occurs, moreover, in response to instructions you yourself have initiated.


Also bear the following in mind

  • Always terminate your PC banking session securely using the ‘Log out' button in the upper right of your screen.
  • Never use PC banking in an Internet cafe. The computer you use there may be infected with spyware.
  • Watch out for anything unexpected or unusual during your PC banking session. Examples include:
    • The unexpected display of a waiting screen;
    • A request – supposedly for security reasons – to log in a second time or to confirm your login by providing an extra M2 (card reader);
    • Screens that are not displayed in the usual language of your PC banking session.
In any of these cases, exit your session and report the problem to the Helpdesk.


  • BNP Paribas Fortis will never spontaneously ask you for confidential information and certainly not by phone or e-mail. Information of this kind will only be discussed face-to-face with an adviser known to you or by letter.
  • Watch out carefully for phone calls or e-mails referring to fraud or other problems with your credit card or your account and in which you might be asked to provide certain confidential information in order to help solve the problem. Never respond to a request of that kind. Notify your branch or our Helpdesk immediately.


Noticed any suspicious behaviour? Doubts? Questions?

Have you noticed that PC banking isn't responding in the normal way? Does something seem not quite right? Turn off your PC immediately and contact us

You should also contact us as quickly as possible the moment you suspect that confidential information is being requested from you in a way that doesn't seem normal.