Important Security Tips

How to protect against online crime and tricksters

Digital Banking

What should I do if I’ve mistakenly disclosed secret data?

Please immediately contact our help desk by calling: +43 5 0100 - 50200.

How do I protect myself against internet criminals?

Mid adult couple and salesman looking at digital tablet in kitchen showroom

Protect your login information
Do not provide anyone with your secret login information for your Internetbanking. Not by email or phone – and also not in a personal conversation. You will never be asked for your confidential data by a customer service representative of Erste Bank und Sparkassen, by a market research group, or by the Service Center.

Beware of phishing (= theft of data)
Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to attempt to trick bank customers into providing their secret login information. If you are asked by email, phone, or on websites for codes, passwords, or TACs, this likely involves fraudulent activities. Immediately end the session or conversation. Important: Do not store codes and passwords on your computer or smartphone – they could be obtained by criminals using spyware.

Regularly update the software on your computer and smartphone
This is the only way to protect yourself against the latest malware and close current security gaps. This relates to:

  • Firewall
  • Antivirus program
  • Operating system
  • Browser

Currently our mobile applications (George-App, s Identity, QuickCheck, CardControl, sKontakt as well as George using mobile browser) are supported using the following operating

  • Android Version 4.4 and higher
  • iOS Version 9.0 and higher

Bug-fixing is one of the reasons for system updates but closing security gaps on the other hand is one of the main targets as well. Your smartphone/tablet is otherwise vulnerable to malware.
For that reason we are limiting access to our applications to above mentioned minimum requirements.
Therefore our urgent advise: Please keep the operating system of your smartphone/tablet always up-to-date.
If your smartphone/tablet cannot be updated to at least that minimum version you may use George browser via PC/MAC.

Carefully verify every TAC-SMS or cardTAN
When making bank transfers, you will receive a TAC-SMS with the TAC (transaction code), along with the recipient’s account number (IBAN) and the amount of the payment. Verify these data BEFORE approval with TAC. In the case of the cardTAN procedure, verify the TAN (transaction number) with a cardTAN generator.

Warning about malware (= Trojan horses)
If you see unusual pages after logging in to Internetbanking, immediately end the session and report the issue to our help desk by calling: +43 5 0100 - 50200.

Be sure that your internet connection is secure
Do not use public networks to access your Internetbanking, such as in cafes or at railway stations. Turn on WiFi and Bluetooth only when needed. Enter the URL of your Internetbanking by hand, not by clicking on a link. Always actively log out when you’re finished.

How do I protect my smartphone against unauthorised access?

Photo of a beautiful young woman in sofa with smartphone

Some smartphones are unlocked with special programs, like “jailbreaks” and “rootings”. However, this deactivates security features. You should NOT use such devices for your Internetbanking.

Use antivirus programs made available by well-known manufacturers, and configure your apps and your operating system to update automatically. Do not store codes and passwords on your smartphone – they could be obtained by criminals using spyware.

Specifically for Android smartphones:

  • Download apps and software only from the official Google Play Store.
  • Avoid apps and software that require SMS rights (for no logical reason) during installation.
  • Install an antivirus app made available by a well-known manufacturer, such as IKARUS mobile.security: For customers of Erste Bank und Sparkassen, the price is just EUR 9.90 instead of EUR 19.95.

Configure these security settings on your Android smartphone as follows:

  • “Verify apps”: please ACTIVATE – this prevents the installation of malicious apps.
  • “Unknown sources”: DO NOT ACTIVATE – this prevents the installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play Store.

How do I change my daily limit for mobile bank transfers?

If you use TAC-SMS for your Internetbanking, a daily limit is placed on mobile bank transfers. You can raise or lower this TAC daily limit yourself in George: Simply go to “Settings” and then “TAC-SMS/cardTAN” (can be done only on a PC, not in the George app).

Where do I go in order to download original apps?

You can obtain the original apps for Erste Bank und Sparkassen only from the official online stores of Apple, Android, and Windows. If you have downloaded the apps from other sources, please delete them immediately.

How do I protect myself against fraud?

George Airbag protects against the consequences of internet fraud. If criminals got your data through phising, Trojan horses or malware, George Airbag would protect you against financial losses. The size of the financial loss does not matter. Neither if you have acted negligently. 

You can purchase George Airbag with the plugin-subscriptions "George Plus" and "George Premium" - from EUR 0.99 per month. Therefor, you need a current account and access to George.

s Identity-App

The new s Identity-App makes your login into your Internetbanking even more secure. And it makes the authorisation of transfers and orders even smarter. Activate your s Identity-App for Android and iOS now – just download the app and switch for free.

  • Highly secure with 2-factor authentication
  • Simply faster with the "One-Click Wonder"
  • More comfort with no SMS text messages

Paying on the Internet

How do I make payments securely in online stores?

This is where I do my best work

With Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, you can make online purchases securely with your s Kreditkarte. With Maestro SecureCode, you can also make online payments securely with your debit card "BankCard". Verify that the online store uses these payment procedures.

You can also make secure payments in online stores by means of an eps online bank transfer using your login information for your Internetbanking. The eps online bank transfer is the reliable payment system used by Erste Bank und Sparkassen and all other Austrian banks.

How do I know if an online store is reputable?

Make sure that the online store uses secure SSL encryption – look for “https” in the URL displayed in the address bar. In addition, reputable online stores provide important information about the website. Review the following:

  • Imprint
  • Contact information
  • General Business Terms and Conditions
  • Delivery, cancellation, and payment terms

Are you looking for information about an online store? Then visit review sites like “Trustpilot” or “Ekomi”, where users share their experiences and warn about disreputable retailers.

Phishing (theft of data)

What should I do if I’ve mistakenly disclosed secret data?

Please immediately contact our help desk by calling: +43 5 0100 - 50200.

What is phishing, and how do I protect myself against it?

“Phishing” means being tricked into disclosing confidential data. Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to attempt to trick bank customers into providing their secret login information for accounts, credit cards, or Internetbanking, as well as their names, addresses, and phone numbers. This can happen over the phone, through bogus emails and websites, or in a personal conversation.

Important: NEVER disclose secret data, such as passwords, codes, TAC, and cardTAN. No reputable company would ever ask you for such data.

Sometimes, an email or letter is sent stating that a bank employee will be calling, which then in fact occurs – but only for the purpose of obtaining secret data. The caller is NOT an employee of Erste Bank und Sparkassen or of the ServiceCenter but instead is a criminal.

Under these pretences, criminals often attempt to obtain secret data:

  • Confirm personal data, such as login information for Internetbanking
  • Extend the validity of online access or subscriptions
  • Verify personal data, such as name, address, and phone number

How do I know if customer surveys by email are legitimate?

We often engage market research groups to ask our customers for their opinions. These groups always identify themselves in their own name – on behalf of Erste Bank und Sparkassen. Also in connection with such online surveys, we NEVER ask for secret data, such as:

  • Login information, passwords, and codes
  • Credit card numbers and codes
  • TAC/cardTAN (transaction codes/transaction numbers)

If you are unsure whether a call is legitimate, end the conversation.

How do I know if customer surveys by email are legitimate?

We often engage market research groups to ask our customers for their opinions. These groups always identify themselves in their own name – on behalf of Erste Bank und Sparkassen. Also in connection with such online surveys, we NEVER ask for secret data, such as:

  • Login information, passwords, and codes
  • Credit card numbers and codes
  • TAC/cardTAN (transaction codes/transaction numbers)

If you are unsure whether a customer survey of Erste Bank und Sparkassen is legitimate, ask one of our customer service representatives. We’ll be happy to provide you with information. Please forward suspicious emails and newsletters to fraud@s-servicecenter.at.

How do I know if email newsletters from Erste Bank und Sparkassen are legitimate?

We always send our email newsletters from an email address that ends in “...@sparkasse.at”. We of course NEVER ask you for secret login information, such as TAC, codes, or passwords. If you are unsure whether you have received an original newsletter from Erste Bank und Sparkassen, ask one of our customer service representatives. We’ll be happy to provide you with information.

If you receive suspicious emails or newsletters:

  • Do not reply to them,
  • Do not click on any links, and
  • Do not open any attachments.

Please forward suspicious emails to fraud@s-servicecenter.at

Paying with Bankomat and Credit Cards

I’ve lost my card. What should I do now?

If your card has been lost or stolen: Immediately call +43 5 0100 - 50333 and have the card blocked.

How do I protect my card codes?

NEVER share your secret codes for debit cards (in the following only "BankCards") and credit cards with ANYONE. They are intended only for you personally. Avoid writing down codes – remember them instead. Please destroy all written materials on which codes are listed. Also, do not store any codes on your computer or smartphone. They could be obtained by criminals using spyware.

Important: If you nevertheless write down a card code, store it in a safe place – separately from the card. Never keep your code together with the card, because with both of them, any thief or dishonest finder can get access to your money.

For your s Kreditkarten, you can choose your own PIN:

How do I store my cards securely?

Never leave your cards behind unsecured – such as in the car, in clothing that you have removed, in luggage, or in shopping bags. Either keep your cards on your person or store them at a secure location. When handing over a card for payment, make sure that you receive the correct card back.

Wichtig: Avoid writing down your card code. If you nevertheless do so, store it in a safe place – separately from the card. Never keep your code together with the card, because with both of them, any thief or dishonest finder can get access to your money.

My card was retained by the Bankomat. What should I do now?

If your card is retained by a cash machine when making a withdrawal, please immediately notify the branch concerned. Outside of business hours, call: +43 5 0100 - 50200.

How do I verify my credit card payments?

Boy using credit card machine in store

With our SMS service, you’ll receive a verification SMS after each s Kreditkarten payment. Activate it now:

With online billing for your s Kreditkarten, you can easily verify your payments and quickly spot any erroneous charges:

SB Lobby

What should I pay attention to when using SB machines?

Protect your card code. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your code at machines. Make sure you are not being watched, and do not let yourself be “helped” or distracted by unknown individuals. Criminals might attempt to spy on you in order to obtain your card code.

When do I need my card code?

You need your card code only for:

  • paying at POS terminals (Bankomat terminals)
  • paying at ticket and parking machines, etc.
  • withdrawing money at a Bankomat
  • SB machines in the branch lobby

What do I need to be aware of when using self-service lobbies?

You do not need to enter ANY code in order to access SB lobbies. You only need to insert the card in the slot next to the entrance door and then remove it. Beware of bogus door openers: If you are asked to enter your code when inserting your card into the reader next to the entrance door, immediately stop the procedure and notify our help desk by calling: +43 5 0100 - 50200.

What should I do if I need a large amount of cash?

Notify us about large withdrawals two days in advance. We will discretely disburse to you the desired amount at the branch. Upon request, we can also arrange for secure accompaniment after visiting the branch.

Tip: For reasons of security, do not use public transportation if you are carrying large amounts of money. Travel instead by car or taxi. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you.. 

What should I do with bank receipts?

Do not carelessly throw away receipts, payment slips, and account statements. Rather, destroy them by ripping them up or shredding them. This is because these receipts contain personal data, which could be misused by criminals.

10 important Rules for Digital Security

  1. Open your Internetbanking only via verified webpages of Erste Bank und Sparkassen.
  2. Protect your login information against access by third parties.
  3. Verify the content of TAC-SMS.
  4. Keep your technical devices secure by means of software updates and antivirus programs, including your smartphone.
  5. Download apps only from official stores – Google Play (Android) and App Store (iOS).
  6. For Android smartphones, be sure that in the settings under “Security”, “Verify apps” is activated and “Unknown sources” is NOT activated.
  7. Take seriously all notifications in the Security Center and security warnings in Internetbanking.
  8. Use the personalisation options in George.
  9. Use our secure communications channel s Kontakt.
  10. Contact an official provider store if your encounter software problems with your mobile.

Help in the Event of an Emergency

Quick help in the event of fraud, loss of card, or theft of data.

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