The thrills and spills of online bank accounts

The spectre of hackers ghosting into internet accounts to steal money was reawakened last week. Cahoot, the online bank owned by Abbey, was forced to shut down for 10 hours on Thursday after discovering that users could bypass security and access details of customer accounts.

The spectre of hackers ghosting into internet accounts to steal money was reawakened last week. Cahoot, the online bank owned by Abbey, was forced to shut down for 10 hours on Thursday after discovering that users could bypass security and access details of customer accounts.

Although the bank stressed it had not been possible to break into accounts and steal cash, this latest lapse is likely to have an impact on customer confidence.

More than 11 million people now bank online and it is expected that, as mobile phone technology develops, people will access banking facilities from their handsets. However, its popularity is regularly hit by security scares - and not just fears of account hackers.

"Phishing", the fraudulent use of emails to persuade customers to part with bank details and passwords (often under the guise of a security test), continues to plague the industry. NatWest customers were targeted in February this year and Lloyds TSB clients in September 2003. Although people are now more aware of potential threats, some still get caught out, losing hundreds of pounds to fraudsters.

However, if you are happy to bank and save online, internet accounts are certainly worth a look. Although they won't always offer the best savings rate - despite being cheap to run - they will usually be competitive.

Our savings table highlights how many of the best no-notice rates come with online accounts. Last month, Bradford & Bingley launched an e-account - an internet-only savings product paying 5.25 per cent - with a bonus 0.25 per cent on top for the first six months.

Even at the big four high-street banks - LloydsTSB, HSBC, NatWest and Barclays - which don't generally pull out the stops for savers, there are attractive internet-only offers.

A £5,000 balance, for example, will earn you 4.25 per cent interest with NatWest's e-Savings account and a slightly higher 4.33 per cent with Barclays E-savings product.

That said, you can get 5.35 per cent with Alliance & Leicester's Online Saver account and 5.2 per cent with Yorkshire building society's e-Saver.

Remember to monitor how much your money earns: half the top internet accounts listed by information provider Moneyfacts include bonus rates of up to 0.71 per cent. Once these run out, ensure your bank continues to pay a competitive rate, or switch to another account.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Voices
All the major parties are under pressure from sceptical voters to spell out their tax and spending plans
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and artistic director Matthew Warchus at the Old Vic party to honour Spacey
theatreStar's successor at Old Vic theatre admits he's 'allergic to hype'
Life and Style
life + healthVirginia Ironside's dilemma, during Depression Awareness Week
Arts and Entertainment
The median income for professional writers is just £10,432, less than the minimum wage
booksSurvey reveals authors' earnings
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

    £21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

    Ashdown Group: Head of Client Services - City of London, Old Street

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders