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.
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.
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.
Make sure you install the latest software and app updates. These usually contain important security updates that can protect you against identity theft.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.