Security is our priority. There are a number of things we do to help protect you, but there are also things you can do to help protect yourself too.
Stay one step ahead of the criminals.
Safe online banking calls for a combination of cutting-edge technology, industry knowledge and good old common sense.
Even as fraudsters come up with ever-more intricate plans, we're staying one step ahead of them.
If you're in any doubt about how you should act, refer to our top tips.
SIM swapping happens when fraudsters ask their victims' mobile phone operator to issue a new SIM card so that they can access mobile banking messages. The victim’s SIM card is deactivated and the messages are received on the fraudster’s device. Fraudsters often obtain the details required about the victim’s mobile phone through phishing.
If you think any of the above has happened with your phone please contact your mobile phone service provider immediately using the number displayed on their website.
There are a few simple steps you can take to deter SIM swappers:
Set up a secure password with all phone service providers
Cater Allen Internet Banking lets you download the transaction information for your account or accounts. It can be saved in different formats so that, for example, you can see your banking activity in a spreadsheet.
If you store personal information such as your transactions history on your computer or device, please take appropriate measures to protect it. This could include:
*Please note, Trusteer Rapport is a third party product and is not owned by Cater Allen.
It's free security software, and it's won awards for keeping customers' details secure.
Trusteer Rapport works alongside your existing anti-virus and firewall software to give you more protection - even if your computer has a virus.
It can make the difference against identity theft and fraud. What's more, it's easy to install and you won't even need to restart your computer.
Find out more about Trusteer Rapport.
*Trusteer Rapport is a third party product and is not owned by Cater Allen.
Identity theft affects over 100,000 people every year. With a few personal details, a criminal can open new bank accounts, get new credit cards, claim benefits and apply for official documents like a driving licence - all in your name, and all traceable to you.
Possible signs that someone's stolen your identity:
If you think your credit or debit card number - or any of your personal details - have been stolen, immediately cancel the card or freeze the account.
If you are not receiving mail, contact your supplier to advise them you have not received their mail, and contact Royal Mail to ensure that a mail redirect has not been placed against you.
If you think some items on your statement are suspicious, call us on 0800 092 3300.
If you have been or believe to be a victim of impersonation, get a copy of your credit file to establish if other financial services have been applied for in your name. Look for new accounts being set up and for credit searches being conducted which you didn't authorise as this may indicate an attempt to impersonate you. Remember, it's the data holder's responsibility to ensure that all data held is correct and accurate, so any credit searches not authorised by you will need to be deleted from your credit file.
This system sends a unique, one-off passcode to your mobile phone. It acts as an extra security element and it is only needed when we want you to verify that a payment or a request to amend some important details (like your address), is genuine.
The great thing about OTP is that you only need to register a mobile phone number with us to use it - and you won't have to remember any new passwords or carry separate kit, such as a card reader.
We are grateful to all customers who forward us these emails. We investigate all emails we receive, though are not always able to respond directly to them.
To protect you, our Internet Banking system logs you off if you don't click for a period of time.
More and more people are shopping online. The choice is enormous, the prices often cheaper and the process convenient.
Start by using trusted sites and entering addresses in your browser. Search engines can get it wrong and accidentally lead you to non-trustworthy sites, especially on later link pages. If you know the site, it's less likely to be a fake.
Beware of misspellings or sites using different endings, for example .net instead of .com. Their prices might look enticing. But that's how they get you to enter your details.
If you are unsure if it is a reputable company, do your research and make sure you are comfortable before providing your personal details.
Never, ever, buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed.
How can you tell? The address will start with https: (instead of http:) and a locked padlock icon will appear in your web browser.
If you sign up for anything online, make sure you read the terms and conditions and know what you are committing yourself to. Check and double check the small print.
Don't give anyone your credit card details by email. And remember that, while certain information is needed to complete a transaction - some isn't. For example, you'll never need to enter your National Insurance number to buy something, and be wary about giving out your date of birth. An unscrupulous character with that data and your credit card number can do a lot of damage.
When you can, give the least amount of information possible. And certainly never use the same password(s) for shopping sites and Internet Banking.
Don't wait for your statements. Log on to Internet Banking regularly and keep track of what's happened on your account(s).
If anything's suspicious, contact us immediately on 0800 092 3300.
Criminals aren't sitting around, waiting for you to give them your data. They're actively trying to help things along. Be aware of their tactics, from Trojans to 419 emails, and regularly update your anti-virus software.
Strong, hard to copy passwords use a string of text that mixes numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters. It should be at least 8 characters - preferably many more. Also, for the best protection, characters should be random - not words, alphabetical or from your keyboard layout.
How to make a strong password
By nature, it's riskier using a public computer to buy something. But if you do, make sure you log out every time. That goes for every site you use - even if you're just checking email.
Also, if you're using your own laptop or smartphone, think about your surroundings. Can anyone peer over your shoulder?
If you do decide to go out with your laptop to shop, you'll be on a WiFi connection. Only use the wireless if you access the web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
A virus software company recently compiled a list of scams to look for. One of them offers a free gift with a purchase, another, a short-term job offer. Many of these 'offers' were advertised over social media, so be aware that even your friends might innocently forward you a scam. Skepticism is a small price to pay for keeping your card details safe.
From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to Digg, the number of social networking sites continues to grow. They're part of our daily lives. They breach many corporate firewalls, are among our most-used smartphone apps and can be vital job search tools.
Unfortunately, they often counter your efforts to protect yourself from identity theft, leaving a trail of personal information that criminals can use for their own ends.
So - beware of sharing too much information, and practice safe social networking.
In addition to your passwords and PINs, never share your:
All these facts can be used to get other pieces of information, which can then be used to complete security checks.
Social networking sites give you lots of privacy control settings - don't settle for the defaults.
Check out the configuration, learn about the different areas and see what options you have. Your aim should be to limit who can see various aspects of your personal information.
New settings are often added over time so keep checking back. Sometimes social networking companies merge - with new owners changing privacy terms, acceptable use policies and user agreements.
Don't put your full resume online for everyone to see. Limit your work history too. If you do need to add more information during a job search, do so. But once you've landed a position, cut out the extra details and leave just enough to attract interested recruiters.
Remember that you can stop others accessing your network of contacts. It's common practice - sales professionals and recruiters don't want to expose their valuable network to people who might poach customers or prospects.
Many people impersonate others online for pranks, but equally, it's the first step towards defaming someone or stealing their identity for financial gain.
With social networking, verify that the page you're looking at genuinely belongs to the person you think it does before you share too much information or click on links.
Look for anything unusual or out of the ordinary. And naturally, if the content doesn't sound like it's from the person it should be, avoid it and either email or call your friend to verify it.
You wouldn't put a note saying 'Away for the weekend - back Monday' on your front door. So why do it on Twitter? Social networking tools like "What's on your mind?" make it easy to let details slip. Think about what you're broadcasting - and how others might benefit from it.
To get a good idea about what others can see, search your name on Google and check out the social network profiles that appear.
Get an understanding of where you show up - and adjust your profile, settings and habits appropriately. If you see your name in locations you don't visit, someone could be using your identity.
You can even set up a Google alert for your name. It'll email you when Google finds your name on sites. Depending on your name, you may have to sift through quite a few mentions. However, you may still learn a lot about where you're appearing online.
More 'friends' equals more people with access to your information. If you do get an unsolicited invitation to connect, check it out thoroughly before you accept.
'Spyware' are programmes or files that often arrive as hidden parts of 'free' programmes and monitor what you look at on the web before reporting back to companies who sell the information.
They're relatively harmless. But some can pick up everything you type, so people can snoop on all your computer activity.
If your computer starts to run slowly, behave strangely or have any of the symptoms listed below:
If you think there might be spyware on your computer, run anti-virus/anti-spyware software to remove it before you download other programmes or open emails.
A virus is a computer programme that copies itself into other programmes stored in your computer. It may be benign, but it usually has a negative impact - from slowing things down to corrupting memory or files. Viruses are now mainly spread by email and file sharing services.
If you think someone may know your security codes you should change them immediately, and notify us at once by phoning 0800 092 3300.
We only request and display personal information about you and your accounts and dealings from secure areas of our site.
Exactly the same security measures, including data encryption and passwords, apply to all our online transactional processes. In addition, these services are protected by firewalls. This technology monitors and prevents any unauthorised access to our computer systems (where personal data is kept) – which means unauthorised people cannot access account and personal details.