Protect yourself

Online and mobile banking

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The internet has made banking much more accessible and convenient. With online or mobile banking being used every day, there are precautions you need to take to ensure that you enjoy the safest banking experience possible.

Email

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Email is an excellent communication tool and also a useful way to stay informed about new products and services. However, email is sometimes used to deliver unwanted material. Always be cautious when sending or receiving emails, particularly if you are sending any personal details or arranging financial transactions.

Smishing

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Smishing is when a criminal tries to trick you into divulging personal and financial details through text messages. Criminals may claim to be from a reputable organisation, or from friends and family. Remember: BOIUK or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ so ignore such text messages.

Vishing

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Telephone fraud is becoming increasingly common. Sometimes criminals try to trick you into divulging personal and confidential information, including bank account details, over the phone. This is known as ‘Vishing’’. Criminals may claim to be from a reputable organisation or claim that your account has been compromised and that action is required. Bank of Ireland UK will never ask you to transfer money to ‘safe account’ – if you receive a call like this just hang up. When in doubt about the legitimacy of a call claiming to be from Bank of Ireland UK, report it and do not act on it unless confirmed to be genuine.

Passwords

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The use of strong passwords is essential in order to protect your information and identity. The best security in the world is useless if a fraudster has access to a legitimate username and password. Strong passwords can take years to crack; weak passwords can be cracked in less than 5 minutes.

Public Wi-Fi

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Wireless networks have changed the way we use computers and mobile devices at home in the office and on the move. ‘Public’ wireless networks or hotspots mean that we can get online in places like cafés, hotels and parks. While this is very convenient, there is a security risk associated with it. When you access public Wi-Fi, you can never be sure who has set up the network and, more importantly, you don’t know who is connected to it. Malicious users could intercept anything you are doing online including capturing your passwords and reading private emails.

Protecting your device

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There are a number of potential threats online and you need to ensure that you properly protect your devices- mobiles, tablets, laptops or PCs. This will help safeguard against your device being infected with malicious software and from potentially serious consequences such as fraud and identity theft.

Shopping online

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The ability to shop, bank, book travel and make payments online has transformed our daily lives. However, these transactions are sometimes targeted by fraudsters. Most reputable organisations make it as safe as possible for customers to conduct business with them online. Today’s cybercriminals are highly skilled at creating fake websites, and persuading consumers to divulge sensitive information and make payments.

Social media

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Social media has changed the way we communicate. However, the more information you post online, the more you put yourself at risk of becoming a potential target for fraudsters. For example, if a fraudster obtains your full birth date and place of birth, they could try to use this information to access your accounts.

Card and ATM safety

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As with all financial transactions, please use discretion when using your card or an automated teller machine (ATM).

Identity theft

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Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to impersonate you. They can carry out fraudulent activity such as trying to access your bank accounts, opening a credit card account in your name or getting payment from a supplier.

Letters

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Sadly bereaved families face being caught out by a new scam, where criminal gangs steal the identities of legitimate firms and demand money from people who have died. Fraudsters are sending letters to grieving family members as they tie up loose ends such as paying outstanding bills, dividing up possessions and signing official paperwork, lawyers have warned.

Remote access fraud

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Fraudsters convince people into downloading legitimate screen sharing software to give them access and control of your device. Once they have control of your device they can steal your personal and financial information for their gain.