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 receive 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 0345 602 0000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you’re calling from abroad or would prefer not to use the 0345 number, you can call us on +44 (0) 113 279 8302.

Other ways to stay safe

1 Keep your card safe
Be careful not to leave your card unattended when you are out and about, as it’s an easy way to get hold of your details. You should avoid writing your PIN down and ensure your PIN is covered whenever you use a cash machine.

If you are worried about your PIN being compromised, you can change it at any cash machine with an LINK sign. You can also request a new PIN online, in branch or over the phone.

2 Check your paper documentation
Check your statements regularly for transactions you are not expecting. If you are unsure, please get in touch.

Once you are done with any documentation we might send you, dispose of it securely by shredding/tearing the paperwork so it can’t be read or used.

If you live somewhere that has a shared mailbox, keep an eye out for post and if you have not received your statement or card/pin, let us know straight away.

3 Be aware of suspicious calls
One of the most popular ways used by fraudsters to access your information is simply by asking you. This can be done in many ways, for instance phishing emails, cold callers or door salesman.

Never give your bank details out if you are unsure. We'll never ask you to transfer any of your money from your account to another account that you don’t recognise. If you’re asked to do so, please hang up immediately and wait 5 minutes for the line to clear or use a different phone before calling us to report it.

Surf safely

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.

Use anti-virus software.
Running anti-virus software can help you prevent infection from viruses, Trojans and many other types of malware. Anti-virus isn’t just for computers, so make sure your other devices such as your phone or tablet are protected by downloading appropriate software. 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.

Use a firewall.
A firewall can help prevent potential intruders from accessing your device. Most modern operating systems come with built in firewalls. To make sure it provides an effective barrier between your device and the Internet, it’s important to set up your firewall appropriately by following vendor instructions.

Prevent spyware.
Spyware is a form of online spying and collecting your personal information. You can help prevent it from getting onto your device by using up to date anti-spyware software and surfing with caution. Find out more about spyware.

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. Your Internet service provider or wireless router manufacturer should provide instructions on how to do this.

Update your operating system.
An operating system is the software that runs your device. Any updates can include important security features, so it is important to keep it as up to date as possible.

You will usually be prompted when there’s an update, but you can change your device settings to receive them automatically.

Keep your browser up to date.
The browser you surf the web with also provides you with lots of security features, so it is important to keep it up to date. Learn how to update your browser.

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.

Use the latest browser

Why is it important?

Your web browser is not just something you use to visit a website, it also provides you with important security features. To make sure you are protected and have the best possible experience, you need to keep your browser up to date.

Please note: Internet Banking is no longer supported on Internet Explorer 6.

How do I upgrade?

You can check for the latest version from the provider’s website, or you can choose to use a different browser. Here are the most common providers*:

*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.


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