Setting up your online security can seem like a difficult process but in reality anti virus software is designed to be easy to use and install. 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.
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 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 can help you to 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). Use a firewall. Your computer's very own burglar alarm and, if configured correctly, it prevents potential 'intruders' from accessing your computer. Many anti virus vendors include a firewall as part of their security products.
If your web browser is out of date you might see an HTTP 505 error when trying to visit a site. This means the website won't work with the version of browser you have because the security certificates aren't up to date. In this case you'll need to update your browser with a newer and more secure version.
Prevent spyware. Spyware is a rather nasty form of online snooping. You can help prevent spyware from getting onto your computer by using an 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 antivirus software appropriate for that device. Security for your mobile device is just as important as security for your home computer.
There are so many things we can do online, such as banking, chatting with friends, doing our weekly food shopping or buying gifts. To make sure we stay safe there are a number of steps we can take to protect our identity and passwords.
Limit the information you make public on social networking sites
Identity thieves piece together small pieces of information you publish about yourself online. If you allow people to see your date of birth, mobile phone number, address and family information they may be able to use this information to steal your identity.
Use strong passwords
A good password should be longer than seven characters and contain a mix of letters and numbers. You should also avoid using your name, username or something too obvious as a password.
Remember to use different passwords for logging into different sites and you should change your passwords regularly.
In the same way you would protect your PIN for your bankcards, keep your online passwords safe. Never let your passwords be known to anyone and don't write them down. If you believe they may have been compromised change them as soon as you can.
Be aware of email/phishing scams
Be on your guard if you receive emails asking for your personal information or online banking sign in details, especially if they are threatening to suspend or limit access to your account. We will never send emails asking you to provide personal information or to confirm your online security details.
If your email address contains your name such as 'email@example.com', fraudsters could use this to personalise a phishing email to make it look genuine
Check you are on a secure website
Never enter credit card / bank account details without checking you are on a secure web page when buying goods and services online. Secure web pages will have a web address starting https:// and there will be a padlock symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the browser window.
If you're uncertain about a website you can check the website's Security Certificate by double clicking the padlock on a secure web page. To be sure how they will record and use your personal details you should also look for and read their Licence Agreements and Privacy Statements.
TSB.co.uk uses Extended Validation Secure Socket Layer, or EVSSL for short. This means that our site has undergone many rigorous checks to confirm its validity, and has been provided with a 'certificate of authenticity' which can be recognised by your browser.
In the majority of cases, this validation is shown within your address bar, displaying a 'traffic light' style response of green, amber or red. This feature gives you the added confidence of knowing the site you're using has been confirmed as genuine.
Update your web browser
Always use the latest version of your web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari). Web browsers often provide a level of inbuilt protection such as anti-virus and anti spyware. However, you should not regard this as a substitute for your own anti-malware products, which still need to be maintained. Using an out of date browser increases the likelihood that someone might be able to exploit a weakness, so having the most up to date version and ensuring that all security patches have been applied is important.