Internet security guidelines

Security is a key concern for BCV. At a time when banks and their customers are the target of a growing number of attacks by cybercriminals, it is important to follow some simple guidelines when using the internet.

1. When you make payments

If you use offline payment software, such as Abacus, Crealogix or Mammut:

  • Use this type of software only on computers used exclusively to make payments, i.e., not a computer you use to access the internet or send or receive emails.
  • Comply with the security recommendations issued by the software developer.
  • Do not save your log-in details (contract number, user ID, password, etc.) on that computer.
  • Immediately notify your bank of any suspicious payments so the appropriate measures can be taken.

When making payments online:

  • Do not use your BCV-net log-in details (user ID, password and the authentication codes) for anything but BCV-net.
  • Do not tell anybody else what your log-in details are.
  • Comply with the BCV-net terms and conditions of use at all times, particularly the guidelines concerning your log-in details. For greater security, we recommend that you switch to BCV smartID.
  • When you make a payment or reservation online, some payment service providers ask you for your BCV-net log-in details. Because this practice goes against basic data confidentiality rules, we may block transactions processed in this way.

2. At all times

Use strong passwords for your computer, email accounts, social media accounts and bank accounts in order to prevent hackers from gaining access to them.

  • Choose passwords that are at least eight characters long.
  • Avoid first and last names and words found in the dictionary.
  • Include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters wherever possible.
  • Change your passwords regularly and avoid reusing old ones.
  • Keep your passwords secret and don?t write them down (no one should ever ask you for your password by telephone or email).
  • Don?t use the same password for several services or accounts (e.g., Facebook, BCV-net and Twitter).

Update your software regularly to reduce the risk of a hacker exploiting known security flaws and gaining access to your data or taking control of your computer.

  • Ensure your operating system and the applications you use (including your browser) are up to date when you use the internet.
  • Enable automatic updates.

Install and use antivirus software and a firewall to help keep your computer virus-free and safe from hackers.

  • Ensure that your antivirus software is always up to date, and be sure to regularly scan your computer.
  • Enable your computer?s firewall, if it has one. If not, download firewall software from the internet (some firewalls are free of charge).

Make sure you only download mobile apps from official stores such as the App Store or Google Play store.

Follow these guidelines to protect your computer from hacking attempts.

  • Beware of emails from people you don?t know. Emails are a common way for ill-intentioned people to infect your computer with a virus; do not click on links in these emails or open files attached to them.
  • Do not reply to spam emails; if you do, the sender will know that your email address works and will send you more spam.
  • Be careful even with attachments sent by people you know, because they may have had their email account hacked.
  • Remember the importance of personal privacy: be careful about what you say and show on the internet. Once information about you is on the internet, it is no longer under your control and it will always be available in one way or another.
  • When making online purchases, only enter your credit card number on secure pages (where the address begins with ?https://?), and only buy from reputable sites. You can check a site?s reputation through a Google search, for example.
  • When you have finished browsing the internet, take the time to properly log out of any websites that you logged into.
  • Turn off your computer when you are not using it.

Use common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism to help you spot scams.

  • If you?re told that you?ve won a game that you did not play, don?t follow up on it.
  • Beware of anyone who tells you that a distant relative you don?t know has just passed away abroad and left you an inheritance. With this type of inheritance fraud, you?ll be asked to send money in advance to settle things like estate costs.
  • When you?re selling something online, never pay so-called taxes or administrative fees up front; the buyer may claim that those taxes or fees must be paid before they can transfer the full amount of money to you.
  • Never tell anyone your BCV-net log-in codes, even if the person claims to be a BCV employee or if the email looks official.

3. Useful websites

  • Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance - MELANI (
    This platform was designed for individuals and small businesses in Switzerland. It describes the risks involved in using the internet and suggests specific security measures you can take.
  • eBanking but secure! (
    This website recommends a number of security measures for the internet and for online banking systems in particular. It gives step-by-step guidelines along with links to useful tools (including antivirus software and firewalls).

The information and opinions contained in this document were obtained from reliable sources at the time of publication. These are general guidelines provided for information purposes only; they are simply examples of recommended behavior when using the internet. BCV disclaims all liability relating to such information, which may be changed at any time without notice.