Protect your devices

Your devices can store a lot of personal data. So you need to keep them safe from scams.

Our guide can help you to do this.

Fraudsters can target your phone, computer or tablet with a scam call or message. They want to steal your details and money.

If your details are stolen, they can be used to try to scam you at a later date.

Tips to protect your devices

  • Update the operating system (OS) on your device as soon as updates are available. The OS runs all of the programs and apps. It also helps to keep it safe from viruses.

    You should do the same with your internet browser too.

    If your computer uses an older OS like Windows 7, XP, Vista or 2000, it won’t get security updates.

    You may need to change your device if you can’t update the OS.

    If your mobile device uses Android 7.0 or below, Google no longer sends security updates. So you may need to change your device.

  • After you bank online or use any other online account, log off. This can help to stop others from getting into your account.

  • Choose a PIN or password to lock your device when it’s not in use. This will stop other people from using it.

  • Install an antivirus on your device. Make sure you keep it up-to-date.

    Scan for viruses at least once a week and follow the advice it gives you. It should tell you if a site or file is unsafe to open.

    Keep your firewall on at all times. This helps to stop people from getting into your computer. Only a computer expert should turn it off.

  • Only download files and programs you know are genuine that have come from a trusted source.

    Dodgy downloads can hide a virus that could harm your device. A virus is often used to try and steal personal and banking details.

    Get your mobile apps from an official store such as the App Store or Google Play.

  • You should change the password that came with your Wi-Fi router or hub. Choose a strong password that only you know. Don’t let anyone use it without your approval.

    Get more advice on our Protect your passwords page.

    When you’re away from home, only use genuine and secure Wi-Fi.

    Fraudsters can set up Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes and other public areas to try to set up scams and steal details.

    If you use public or free Wi-Fi, be careful of sites that want payment or banking details. It’s safer to use your mobile phone network to shop or bank online.

    If you think your account has been used by someone else, contact us now.

  • Take Five

    You can get straight forward, impartial advice on how to avoid scams from Take Five.

    Action Fraud

    You can report a crime or get general advice from Action Fraud. They help banks and other companies combat fraud.

    Get Safe Online

    They offer advice on how to keep yourself and your devices safe from fraud.

    UK Finance

    UK Finance is there to support customers and to help make sure it's safe to bank.

    Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

    The PRA is part of the Bank of England. Their role is to make sure banks act safely and reduce the chance of them losing money.

    Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    The FCA is there to make sure banks work well so customers are protected and get a fair deal.


    CIFAS can help to protect your identity. They can stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for things in your name.

    Cyber Aware

    This is a government site that gives advice on how to stay safe online.


    This is part of the FCA site. You can use it to check on an investment or pension deals to help you avoid scams.

    Bank of Scotland does not control the content of any of the websites linked to on this page.

Think you’ve fallen for a scam?

You should contact us right away if you think you’ve been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now

Bank of Scotland will never ask you to:

  • Share your account details like user ID, password and memorable information.
  • Tell us your Personal Security Number (PSN) for Telephone Banking. 
  • Tell us your PIN code or card expiry date.
  • Move money to another account.

Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.