Staying safe online begins offline. Many fraudsters will look to obtain information from you offline that they can use to steal your identity online.
Identity fraud is becoming a growing concern as we share more and more of our personal information, especially online. However, by managing your personal information carefully you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud. Taking just a small handful of security measures can greatly reduce our exposure to these threats.
- Be vigilant – be suspicious of anyone who contacts you unexpectedly and asks for personal information like a policy number or account details.
- Check your financial statements regularly – let your bank know straight away if there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
- Protect your post – if you stop receiving mail, contact Royal Mail straight away.
- Moving house – if you’re moving house, tell any organisations that you deal with as quickly as possible, and don’t forget to ask Royal Mail to redirect any mail from your old address for at least a year.
- Shred sensitive information – shredding documents containing personal or financial information is the best way to make sure no-one can build up a profile based on the information you throw away.
- If your adviser or intermediary has arranged for you to have online access to the Customer Dashboard, please note that we’ll not send emails asking you to re-confirm your password or your personal information for ‘security purposes’.
- So, don’t respond to any such emails. If you do, you may be giving the sender important information that could lead to fraudulent activity on your account.
- If contacting us by email, please don’t include any personal, financial or banking information as it’s not a secure method of communication.
- Beware of ‘phishing scams’ - if you ever receive an email from someone you don’t know, be careful not to click on any links or attachments, as they may install harmful software on your device.
- Keep updated – always install security updates.
- Only use devices you can trust.
- Antivirus and firewalls
- Wifi networks
- Use strong passwords. Passwords should not be obvious or guessable (such as based on your pet or favourite team).
- Use different passwords for different accounts. If your login detail are stolen from one site criminals will attempt to use them on other sites.
- Periodically reset your passwords.
- Keep your passwords secure.
- Never share your password - not even with friends, family and your adviser/intermediary.
- Security – if you think the security of your account may have been compromised you should change your account password as soon as possible.
Let us know about any changes to your personal details
Make sure you tell us about any changes to your name, permanent residential address or nominated bank account, so that payments and correspondence reach the correct destination. Out of date information may cause delays. How to give us this information is covered in your Customer Dashboard.
Firewalls protect your PC from unauthorised access and are the starting point for keeping you and your personal information safe. A firewall helps prevent unauthorised access to your PC while allowing you to connect to the internet and use your PC as normal. There are many different firewall applications available, and they often come installed as standard these days. It’s crucial that you keep your firewall up to date and turned on at all times.
Anti-virus software periodically scans for known viruses and prevents them from infecting your PC. As new viruses are being discovered daily, make sure that you have the latest updates installed.
Spyware can track websites you visit, log the keystrokes you make and capture all the information you type. As with anti-virus, anti-spyware software can scan for and remove malicious programs. Make sure you have the latest updates installed.
Up-to-date software - all major application developers will release ‘patches’, which fix known problems or enhance the software. You should install updates for your PC as soon as they’re available. We recommend that you enable the ‘Automatic update’ feature of your software.
Secure your wireless connection
It’s important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure your wireless connection. This will:
- protect your information from being intercepted, and
- prevent your broadband connection from being accessed without your knowledge
Get Safe Online www.getsafeonline.org
Cyber Streetwise https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/
Action Fraud http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/