We can't stress this enough: get some great anti-virus software on your laptop or computer. Not only does this protect an important piece of equipment, but it stops fraudsters accessing your personal information.
Try to optimise the security of your passwords by making them a mixture of letters and numbers. Password is not a password. Develop complex passwords for each of your important online accounts.
If you don't have a diverse range, all it takes is a fraudster to work out one of your passwords, and then he or she will have access to multiple accounts. Minimise the damage a criminal can do to you.
Don't tell anyone your personal information over the phone, unless you're sure the line is secure - for example, you have a particular process for telephone banking.
Err On The Side Of Caution
If your bank contacts you unexpectedly, always treat the phone call with suspicion. Never click on anything in an email from your â€˜bank.' Certainly don't open emails from an unknown source; they may contain a virus.
Always check that there is a padlock symbol in your browser and that the address starts with â€˜https' before you enter any account details on a website. If however, the unfortunate happens, contact your local fraud solicitor, who can help review your situation, helping for an appropriate outcome.
If you run your wireless network through a router, make sure that it's fully protected, so only you can access the internet connection.
Logging Into Your Bank Account
Never log into your bank on a public computer. And always log out of your account if you have to leave your PC. If you are having trouble logging in, call your bank directly.
You've probably had Facebook moither you about your telephone number. Don't post your personal details, including your phone number, on social network sites. You should also avoid posting your date of birth too. Only accept friends that you know in real life.
Identity thieves love social networking sites. Up your privacy settings and make sure that only people you can trust can access your profile.
Keep On Top Of Things
Check your bank account as regularly as you can for any suspicious transactions. Even if the outgoings are minimal, if you didn't authorise the payment, contact your bank immediately. You could be a victim of fraud.
Your bank will usually refund the unauthorised transaction, unless it can prove that you did authorise it or that you acted fraudulently. Alternatively, if they can prove you were grossly negligent with your details, they may also refuse you a refund.
Although it's extremely rare for that to happen, you may complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. They may be able to argue on your behalf, depending on the case.