More on security for online card payments, and the extra layer of protection when shopping online with your credit or debit card.
How we take card payments
We will never ask for payment for any of our services via social media, email or SMS text and neither do our clients so if you are approached by someone purporting to be a Landlord or Seller please contact the relevant branch as soon as possible and DO NOT share any personal information in this way.
Under no circumstances will we ever ask you to send us your payment card details in ANY form especially via email, SMS text or social media
Initial or ad-hoc payments are ALWAYS taken with you directly on the phone via a secure payment service we provide
Regular payments are usually made via a standing order or direct debit arrangement
We will never send you a link to make a payment via email or other means
If you receive a communication that you suspect is suspicious, call the branch BEFORE you do anything. We don't mind checking!
Always use publicly available contact details for our branches such as the phone numbers on our websites
If you suspect a communication is malicious do not use the contact details contained within the email or SMS text and contact your branch.
Changing Bank Accounts
We will never contact your via email or other electronic communication regarding a change in our banking details or requesting you to confirm yours
Our banking details should never change, but if they do then the branch will contact you directly
Before we make any changes to the bank account details we hold for you, we will confirm the changes to you separately
General awareness when shopping online
1. Choosing where you shop
Seeing a padlock in the address bar is a good thing, but it's not a guarantee that the shop itself is legitimate. Your internet browser may also mark an address as "insecure" - don't ignore this message.
2. Don't give away too much information
You shouldn't need to give out your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your primary school, in order to buy something. There’s some obvious details that an online store will need, such as your address and your bank details, but be cautious if they ask for details that are not required for your purchase.
3. Keep your devices up to date
Make sure you install the latest software and app updates. These usually contain important security updates that can protect you against identity theft.
4. Use strong passwords
Secure your important accounts with a good password - especially your email. Cyber criminals want to hack into your email account and often customer neglect to change the password regularly. They are looking for valuable information like bank details and the logins for your other online accounts but they'll also make use of things like your address, birthdays, family member names, favourite sports teams when trying to crack your passwords.
5. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
2FA is a way for the service or company you're using to double check that you really are the person you claim to be, when logging in. You will often see this used on banking websites, where the site will send you an additional passcode that you use alongside your username & password. This ensures that any cyber criminals in possession of your password won't be able to access your account because they won't have this "second factor".
6. Use a password manager
If you have lots of accounts, the temptation to re-use passwords and usernames is pretty strong. A good way to get around this is to use a password manager. Password managers can securely store your passwords in one place, and also help you set strong passwords for all your online accounts.
7. Take care with links in emails and texts
Once you start shopping, stay alert. Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites, designed to steal your money and personal details.
8. When things go wrong
If you think you may have been taken in by a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website's address, then close down your Internet browser. Then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.