At this time of year, many of us think about taking advantage of the sales. It’s great to bag a bargain or two, but it’s always good to be cautious - especially if you’re shopping online. We’ve put together some tips and suggestions to help you stay safe.
Fraudsters send out phishing emails in high volumes during the Christmas period, they will appear to be from a legitimate source and will often request personal information from you.
Keep an eye out for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes; many scam emails are riddled with them
Be suspicious of any attempt to obtain a password or any piece of personal data by email
Look out for emails which require urgent action for something good to happen (prize, or special offer), or bad things to happen if you don’t act immediately
It comes from an unexpected source, such as an authority figure, government agency or even someone you don’t know at all
At Close Brothers Savings, we will never ask for your password or Bank Account information via email.
Create a strong password
To make sure passwords are as strong as possible ensure you think about these suggestions.
Never use a password you’ve already used for another website
Never share your password, even with us
Never save your password on a public or shared computer
Use random characters or phrases that are unlikely to be guessed
Use a Password Manager so you don’t have to memorise or write passwords down
Use a password manager
Remembering passwords for lots of different sites is difficult for anyone. Password Managers are essentially a ‘digital safe’ that creates and remembers strong passwords for you.
Make it easy to use long, complex, unique passwords
Generate new passwords when you need them
Automatically paste them in when you need to log in
Sync your passwords across all your own devices: your laptop, phone or tablet
Password Managers are either built into your device, available as software or can be downloaded as an app. Please note: they often require a ‘master’ password, which you will need to remember.
You’ll also need to make sure that you keep browser based password managers or software up-to-date. Find more guidance on Password Managers by visiting the at the National Cyber Security Centre’s website
When you’re not using your own computer or device:
Do not save passwords if asked
Limit the sensitive information you provide
Remember to logout of any website when you are away from the computer
Use ‘incognito mode’ or ‘private browsing” on the browser (you may still be monitored in a public setting)
Limit what you share on social media
Never share your bank details or other personal information on social media sites, and don’t rely on the (over complicated) privacy settings. The less you publish about yourself, your close family and friends, the less information is available to help potential hackers ‘guess’ your passwords.
Keep your software up-to-date, especially Anti-Virus
Make sure you have the latest Anti-Virus software on all your devices. There are plenty to choose from, some available for free. Choose a well-researched and reputable brand. Also, make sure you only have one anti-virus programme installed as running two can leave your computer vulnerable and operating slowly. Carry out updates as soon as prompted for all your devices and software, so you have the full level of protection available.
https://getsafeonline.org/ Unbiased, factual and clear information on online safety, supported by HM Government and leading organisations in banking, retail, internet security and more.
https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. You should report fraud here if you’ve been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.