What you can do

Keeping your online identity safe

1. Remember to protect your identity

Always limit what personal details you share on the internet when using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also when registering personal information on online gaming sites and forums.

2. Create strong and unique passwords

When setting up passwords for different sites, remember to make your password very unique in a sense that it cannot be easily guessed by someone. Don't use common phrases and words. Where possible, try and use a combination of numbers and letters.

3. Be aware of phishing and email scams

You may recieve emails or text messages that ask for your personal information. Do not click on any links or provide any of your Online Banking or Telephone Banking security details.

Please forward suspicious emails or details of the text messages that ask for your personal information to security@bankofscotland.co.uk and then delete it from your inbox without responding. This information will be used to help reduce fraud online.

If you have been presented with a pop-up screen asking you to enter your security details, do not enter any details and call us on 08456 02 00 00.


Take steps to protect your computer
Don't wait for a virus or Trojan to infect your computer before improving your online security. You can find out how to take positive steps to protect your computer and your online identity by reading our Surf Safely advice and completing the actions in our online security checklist.

Surf safely

Stay up to date - By keeping your antivirus software, browsers, applications and firewall up to date you will be making life much more difficult for  the criminals trying to steal your data. This free computer health check can help identify if you have these features operating correctly. If you are unsure how to carry out these steps then you should ask someone with computer experience whom you trust, or speak to a PC support professional.

  • Keep your  operating system up to date (e.g. Windows). Ensuring your operating system is up to date will help protect you against security threats such as malware. You can set-up your computer to receive updates automatically via the internet. You can find out how to do this through your operating system provider (e.g. Microsoft if you are a Windows user or Apple if you are a Mac OS user).
  • Use anti-virus software. Running  anti-virus software and keeping it up-to-date helps stop viruses, Trojans and many other nasty 'bugs' from infecting your computer. You can use this free diagnostic check to help identify if a virus is present on your device - although this is no substitute for having an up to date anti-virus solution running at all times.
  • Keep your web browser up to date. Ensuring your web browser is up to date will help protect you against security threats such as malware. You can check for the latest browser version from your browser providers' website. (e.g. Microsoft if you are an Internet Explorer user or Mozilla if you are a Firefox user).
  • Keep your software up to date. Ensuring that all of the software you have installed on your PC (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat) is up to date will help protect you against security threats such as malware. Use a firewall. Your computer’s very own burglar alarm and, if configured correctly, it prevents potential ‘intruders’ from accessing your computer.  Many AV vendors include a firewall as part of their security products.
  • Prevent spyware. Spyware is a rather nasty form of online snooping. You can help prevent spyware from getting onto your computer by using up-to-date anti-spyware software and surfing with caution.
  • Secure your wireless connection. Without a secure wireless network, anyone can use your connection. Securing your wireless connection can be as simple as setting up a password, and your internet service provider will be able to provide instructions on how to do this.
  • Mobile devices. If you are using a mobile device to access the internet make sure you use anti-virus software appropriate for that device. Security for mobile devices is just as important as for your home computer.
  • You can also check websites such as Bank Safe Online and Get Safe Online to keep up to date with the latest online security threats.

Security checklist

Setting up your online security can seem like a difficult process but in reality there are plenty of simple technical things you can do to keep yourself and your personal information safe online. If you are unsure how to carry out these steps then you should ask someone with computer experience whom you trust, or speak to your internet service provider.

  • Find out how to Surf Safely.
  • Update your operating system (e.g. Windows). The latest operating system will protect you against recent security threats. You can set-up your computer to get updates automatically via the internet. It's a very easy way to keep the hackers at bay. You can find out how to do this through your operating system provider (e.g. Microsoft if you are a Windows user). You can run a free health-check on your device by following the instructions here.
  • Keep your web browser up to date. You can usually upgrade your browser version from your browser providers' website. Here are the most common providers*:
    Upgrade your Internet Explorer browser
    Upgrade your Mozilla Firefox browser
    Upgrade your Safari browser
    Upgrade your Chrome browser
    Upgrade your Opera browser
  • Use a firewall. Your computer's very own burglar alarm and, if configured correctly, it prevent potential ‘intruders’ from accessing your computer.
  • Use anti-virus software. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and you help to stop viruses, Trojans and many other nasty 'bugs' from infecting your computer. You can run a free virus scan through your web browser, without the need to install anything on your device, here.
  • Prevent spyware. Spyware is a rather nasty form of online snooping. You can help prevent spyware from getting onto your computer by surfing with caution and using up-to-date anti-spyware software.
  • Secure your wireless connection. Without a secure wireless network, anyone can use your connection. So not only are they freeloading at your expense, they're also able to hack into your computer. Make sure you secure your wireless connection, which could be as simple as setting a password. Your internet service provider will be able to provide instructions.
  • Mobile devices. If you are using mobile devices to access the internet make sure you use antivirus software appropriate for that device. Security for mobile devices is just as important for mobile devices for your home computer.
  • Stay up to date. By keeping your antivirus software, browsers and firewall  up to date you will be keeping one step ahead of the criminals trying to steal you data.
  • You can also check websites such as Bank Safe Online* to keep up to date with the latest phishing / scam emails going around.

*Links to external sites are provided as part of our commitment to making Internet Banking safe and secure. However, we cannot accept responsibility or liability for the content or availability of external sites. We cannot guarantee that any software downloaded from these sites will work, or be free from viruses or malicious code.