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How you canprotectyourself

Protect yourself on the internet

Don't become a victim of identity theft or fraud - there's a lot you can do to protect yourself and your accounts.

General advice

  • Ensure that the equipment you are using to access our online services cannot be overlooked by another person (much as you would do whilst entering your PIN into an ATM)
  • When you have completed your transaction or wish to take a break, log-off the service and close down your Internet browser
  • It is best not to use a public computer to access your online accounts because you cannot be certain that the public computer is secure - it may be infected with a virus that will try to collect your password or other personal information, for example
  • Using an email account that is not shared with other family members will help keep your communications confidential
  • Log in regularly to check your account and tell us straight away if something is wrong
  • Make sure we have your correct email address and check your inbox regularly for new messages

Passwords

  • If you apply for one of our mortgages through the site or for one of our online accounts, do not pick a password that will be easily guessed, for example your telephone number or daughter's birthday. We have certain rules in place that make sure the password you choose is reasonably strong
  • Do not tell anybody your login information. Your password should be secret and known only to you. If you suspect somebody else knows your password, change it immediately

Anti-virus

Viruses can be a huge problem. You should use anti-virus software to protect your computer and minimise the risk that your personal details or information might be compromised by a virus. Make sure you set up your anti-virus software so that it regularly updates itself.

Firewalls

  • A firewall is a device or piece of software that is designed to control the traffic passing between your computer and the internet
  • Firewalls are a very effective security measure and limit how your computer can be accessed from the internet, which makes it harder for a hacker to attack it. Whenever you use the internet, you should have a firewall in place, especially if you're using a broadband internet connection

Spyware

  • Spyware or Ad-ware is a growing problem. Spyware is a term used to describe a type of programme that tries to collect information about you and your browsing habits, often without your knowledge or consent. People are normally tricked into installing spyware programmes
  • There are a number of anti-spyware programmes available, many of which are free. It is a good idea to use an anti-spyware programmes to make sure your computer is clean

Improving security at home

  • Keep personal documents in a safe place


    and destroy important unwanted documents like bank statements, ATM receipts, bills and mail which includes personal information. If you haven't got a shredder why not burn them with your garden rubbish?
  • Be cautious if someone contacts you unexpectedly


    to confirm your personal details. If you doubt that the call is genuine, then ask if you can call them back on a number that you know to be correct, such as through a switchboard number
  • Stop and think


    how a company would normally contact you - a bank or building society would never ask you for your personal identification number (PIN) or for a whole security number or password over the phone or via email
  • If you move house


    make sure that you tell all of the companies that send personal information to you in the post and consider having your post redirected. Post is valuable information in the wrong hands
  • Check statements regularly


    for suspicious entries or transactions, and tell us straight away if something is wrong
  • report lost or stolen ATM cards and passbooks immediately so that we can protect your accounts
  • Don't write down


    your card and security information (PIN number and/or password). Keep them secret
  • Report lost or stolen documents


    such as passports, driving licences, credit cards and chequebooks to the organisation that issued them
  • Consider regularly obtaining copies of your personal credit file


    from a credit reference agency and check your credit file for irregular or unexpected entries
  • Take care when writing personal cheques


    - always ensure that the payee details include the recipient's name (including initials) and draw a line through any unused space on the payee line
  • If you are requesting a cheque


    payable to another financial institution do not make the cheque simply payable to the organisation; include the payee's account number and name (including initials)
  • Never accept cheques or banker's drafts


    from someone unless you know and trust them - consider other options for payments, especially for high value goods
  • If you withdraw a cheque


    from your account and it is no longer required return it immediately for re-crediting to your account. Don't let it fall into the wrong hands
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