Keeping your details safe online

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Nov 2011

We’re committed to making our website and online services as safe as possible. Here are some key ways to protect yourself when surfing the web.

Security on our website

We are committed to making sure that we keep your personal & financial details safe. You can find out how we use your data by visiting our Privacy Policy and Uses of Data »

Key ways to maximise your safety online

To help safeguard you from the various forms of online fraud, we’ve compiled a handy list with some key ways to maximise your safety online.

1. Be aware of phishing/spam

Be aware of phishing or SPAM emails where fraudsters pretend to be legitimate organisations in order to obtain your personal information. Most financial institutions including Engage Mutual will never contact you requesting your account login details, passwords or PIN numbers. Do not reply and do not disclose your security details to anyone. You should report any such request immediately to our customer service team by calling 0800 169 4321.

2. Protect your computer against forms of attack

  • Unexpected pop-ups, browser toolbars or your computer running slowly are common signs that your computer is infected with Spyware. Spyware is malicious software that installs itself on your machine and can scan your hard disk to capture personal information such as bank details and passwords and can then pass them on to criminals.
  • Install anti-virus and anti- malware software on your computer/phone to help protect against this form of attack and make sure you keep them up-to-date and run regular scans.
  • Utilising a firewall will protect your computer from unauthorised access and will reduce infection.
  • Upgrade your internet browser (e.g. firefox, internet explorer) and operating system (e.g. Windows 7) regularly to keep up-to-date with the latest security updates. There should be a link on your browsers website that enables you to upgrade your browser version.

3. Protect your personal information

  • Fraudsters are operating on social networks, making friends and sharing personal information in the hope that you will feel obliged to do the same. Be careful who you befriend online and do not share any sensitive information as this could fall into the wrong hands.
  • Be very wary of suspicious emails, phone calls or text messages as impersonation fraud is on the rise. Don’t ever divulge personal information  to anyone unless you are 100% sure you know them.
  • Use different PIN numbers and passwords for your accounts and ensure you change these regularly. Never write down password information, instead make a mental note of passwords and destroy any email evidence.
  • Avoid saving passwords on shared computers in the workplace or internet cafe and always remember to log out!
  • Don’t use the auto complete button when completing forms online as this software can be easy for thieves to target and access.
  • be very wary of unsolicited offers to make money especially from overseas companies as it’s harder to tell whether it is genuine. Verify the company by checking their contact details (address, phone number, email address and website) are correct and whether they are registered in the UK. Never give bank details to anyone unless you know them, if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

4. Surf the web safely

  • Viruses are often contained within attachments so only open attachments that you are expecting to receive from people you know. If you are suspicious, contact the sender before opening it or safer still, delete it.
  • Only download programs from trustworthy sources, if you are unsure, research the program to check it’s reliable.
  • Always read security warnings, license agreements and privacy statements carefully so you know what you are committing to.
  • Take care when purchasing products online, only buy products from well known brands with solid track records
  • Clear down your email messages regularly.
  • Treat anything printed from the internet as you would treat the contents of your purse/wallet.
  • Check bank statements regularly and report any unrecognised transactions. Securely store any confidential letters/statements and shred anything you know longer need.
    5. Mobile phone security
  • Treat your mobile security as you would with your home computer. Make use of the security features and set up a pin/screen lock.
  • Keep your mobile locked and out of view at all times – if a fraudster was to acquire your phone they may have easy access to the contents of your email accounts and social networks which may be enough to steal your identity.
  • Switch off bluetooth and wi-fi connections when not in use as these are not as secure as the network provided by your mobile phone network (this will save you battery life too!)

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.