Not-quite-Internet Banking

As a business owner, I rely on internet banking to work every day (and every night).  It sure beats the way that many businesses used to work – collecting daily statements from the bank each morning.

So, when internet banking goes bad (and only on your computer .. not one of those lovely ‘service is not available’ messages from the bank), where do you turn? Assuming your problem is not that you have the Pop-Up Blocker turned on and your banking site wants to pop up the login window.

Start by disabling any ‘anti-bad guy’ software on your PC (anti-virus software, windows defender, dare I say it ‘Nortons’ etc) just to eliminate them from throwing a spanner in the works.

Now my personal first guess is always SSL.  SSL is an encryption method used to disguide traffic between your PC and the bank, so wehn you type in your password and hit send, the little packet of data that goes whizzing across the internet doesnt look like it has your password word in it, it looks scrambled.  SSL is used by banks and shold be used by any internet site that requires you to log on to access sensitive information or requires payment (esp by credit card).  It changes the site address to start with https:// at the start and will also show a little padlock icon in Internet Explorer.  If your banking sites arent working but Google etc is, SSL is the first place to look.

And the first trick to try for SSL is the following Microsoft article, in particular re-registering the files (DLLs) that help make SSL run:  http://support.microsoft.com/KB/813444

The next suspect is Java, another technology that is added to your web browser to make things display nicely and perform all sorts of functions.  Visit www.java.com and test/verify/uninstall/reinstall Java.

You can also try starting IE ‘clean’, without any other program add-ons loaded, to see if something that has it’s hooks into IE has got itself upset:  Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons)

If you are still having no luck (especially if your browser has some other strange things like the search window in IE7 not working, or a lot of options under Tools are greyed out), your internet browser may be damaged.  Many techs will yell out ‘install Firefox’ or ‘install Mozilla’, and while these can help to determine if it’s just a browser or a whole PC problem, I’m not a fan of installing more software if I don’t have to.  If you are running IE7, follow this procedure to uninstall it http://www.ie-vista.com/kbase2.html and try IE6.  If it works with IE6, then try a clean install of IE7 following these instructions http://www.ie-vista.com/known_issues.html#pre-install.

If it doesnt work with IE6 … it’s time to call in the experts!

 

-SCuff

 

 

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