I've been doing quite a bit of travelling to shows and conferences in the last few months, which has involved staying in hotels and the like for several nights.
As I don't really trust WiFi networks in hotels for e-banking, I was initially impressed to see that our personal and business bank, HSBC, has started installing PC screens and keyboards in UK branches, to allow customers to access the e-banking system from inside the branch.
But is it secure? I had a look at the system at busy central London branch earlier this week. The branch was so busy no-one really noticed me jinking around with the keyboard and mouse.
It's wide open.
All HSBC has done is to remove all the program icons - with the exception of Internet Explorer - from the screen. You can still run other programs from the Windows/Start button.
From what I can see there's no security software on the PC(s) and, whilst it's installed on HSBC's own network, it looks an easy task to go to a Darkware site and download keylogger applets and other hacking utilities to the machine.
Staff at the branch in London shrugged their shoulders when I expressed concern about the security of the PC.
Perhaps worse, there are no warning signs or exclusion clause notices around the PCs in the HSBC branches I've visited.
So if a customer's e-banking credentials are compromised as a result of using the e-banking terminal inside an HSBC branch, I wonder who will be responsible.
Does HSBC even care? From what I've seen, I doubt it...