onlinesafety

Protecting your Details

It is really important to be vigilant and ensure that you keep your personal and financial details safe. There are lots of fraudsters around who will try to steal your identity, commit financial crimes in your name or gain access to your bank account (s). They can do this 'virtually' by trying to obtain information from you online or 'physically' by obtaining hard copies of important documents and cloning bank cards.

Keeping details safe online

There are lots of things you can do to protect your details when you're online:

  • only use a protected computer
  • always use a secure server if you are inputting financial and personal information. A padlock icon should appear at the bottom of your browser or the web address should begin with 'https'
  • if you have any doubts do not reply to the email, click into any of the links or provide any of your details. You should check the authenticity of the email with the organisation (i.e. bank, university).
  • search for the companies contact details and postal address. Do not click on contact details in the email you have received, instead undertake a new search in a different browser

and

  • make sure you never ever send your bank details or security passwords to anyone in an email
Phishing emails

Phishing emails are scam emails pretending to be from another organisation with sole intention of trying to access information like your usernames and passwords, bank account or credit card details, answers to your security questions (e.g. your mother's maiden name / the name of your first pet) or other important identity details such as your national insurance number.

Some common phishing emails often pretend to be from Student Finance England. HMRC and Apple.

It can be quite common around student loan payment dates for phishing emails to be sent pretending to be from Student Finance. See the Student Loans Company phishing guide (PDF:27.2KB) for advice about how to spot phishing emails. The University's IT Service and the government also provide advice about phishing emails.

What to do if you do reply to a 'scam' or 'phishing' email
  • contact your bank immediately to notify them and cancel any bank / credit cards if you have provided your bank / credit card details
  • check for any suspicious activity occurring in your bank accounts
  • change your log in details and passwords (if you use the same username or password for other sites you should also change these)

Keeping hard copies of your personal information safe

Documents you no longer need:

  • shred all information using a shredder
  • tear or cut documents into small pieces

Documents you need to keep:

  • locate in a safe place
  • do not write down passwords or PIN numbers.

Further information

For more information about protecting your details online see: