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NatWest declares war on Internet

Well, the parts not owned by Microsoft

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NatWest has cut off users of Netscape Navigator 4.76, 4.77 and 6 and Mozilla from its online banking service today after it was advised the browsers could be a security risk.

Visit with the latest version of Navigator and you'll get an alert stating: "We are currently our Web site with the Netscape 6 browser. At this stage, we cannot guarantee that you willbe able to experience the full benefits of the Web site." Attempting to log on to the online service results in a blank page.

IT consultants have told the bank they could not guarantee the security of customers' data through the browsers and so they have all been switched off. We also tried to log on with Opera but couldn't get passed the log in page. And if you are foolish enough to use a Mac, don't even think about using the service, as NatWest won't let you access it using Internet Explorer.,

Leaving - you've guessed it - just Microsoft's Internet Explorer on a PC for your online banking needs.

Other issues with the browsers apparently included loss of a session if the browser was resized and loss of the left-hand navigation menu. (Although this has also been known to happen with Explorer (I know, I bank with NatWest)

NatWest, we are assured, does make a habit of using standards-compliant code and has reported the troubles it appears to have to the relevant people.

As for our own experience of NatWest service we have never been overly impressed. When this reporter first signed up for the service it caused the browser to crash every time. When NatWest did eventually get the service running, it was through a convoluted username and multiple password system.

Even when you do get on, the service is very slow and times you out after five minutes meaning you have to go through the whole log-in process again.

However, it is worth it if you do nothing but download your financial details to a compatible piece of financial software (again Microsoft) where you bore yourself silly working out why you never have any money.

We're waiting for NatWest to get back to us. ®

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