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Be cyber aware

As a financial institution, we take cyber crime, and protecting our members’ data, very seriously.  We strive to ensure that our customer information is kept safe and secure through up-to-date computer systems and continual monitoring. With online scams on the increase, even more so since the pandemic, it is key to be able to recognise and prevent fraud, by being vigilant when receiving requests from third parties.

To be clear, we will never:

  • Ask you to disclose your PIN number or other passwords for your accounts.
  • Encourage you to move funds from your own account into a different “safe” account.
  • Encourage you to order and pay for UK cash via the phone or internet.
  • Charge up-front fees for repayment holidays.
  • Make home visits to collect mortgage arrears on your doorstep.
  • Demand an immediate payment of mortgage arrears over the phone.
  • Demand payment of mortgage arrears via email providing you with a link through which to make payments.

Individuals who approach you saying that they are Hinckley & Rugby Building Society employees and who pressurise you in the ways outlined above are criminals.

To help avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime, we have put together a list of five steps you can take to improve your security online.

Click on each one to expand the box and learn more.

Weak passwords can be hacked in seconds.  The longer and more unusual your password is, the harder it is for cyber criminals to hack.

The best way to make a strong password is to use a sequence of three random words which you will remember, and add some numbers, capital letters and special characters to make it even stronger.

An example of this is %GreenEggTree455 – this password is strong, because it includes random words, numbers, special characters and capital letters.

Starting with your most important accounts, make sure your passwords are unique.

Your email account is the gateway to your other passwords, and if this gets hacked, all of your other passwords can be reset by a cyber criminal.  You can reset your password to create a new, stronger one using our tips.

Use these guides to reset your password on:

Most of us now have smartphones and tablets, which we use to help manage our day-to-day life, so, as they hold a lot of our personal information, it is vital that they are protected too.  You can create a password for your device using the ‘settings’ program.  Newer iPhones and Android devices have the option to enable fingerprint access, and some even use facial recognition to unlock your device.  If you do have an older model, you can still add a password to protect your device when it’s not in use.

Two-factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA, is when you are asked to enter another piece of information along with your password to log in.  This could be a code from a text message, a fingerprint on your phone and in some cases, a physical device like a USB key.  2FA reduces the risk of being hacked even if cyber criminals have your password, as they’re not likely to have access to the second form of authentication required to access your accounts.

Banking websites already have 2FA enabled – to keep your information safe, turn on 2FA for your other sensitive accounts too, including your emails and on social media where you may have personal information stored.

Use these guides to turn on 2FA for:

Email

Social media

Cyber criminals are always looking to exploit weaknesses in software and applications to access your private data, and this is why software and hardware companies are constantly updating their systems to close these loopholes and make your devices more secure.

Using the latest version of software dramatically reduces the risk of your data being compromised.

Ideally, set your phone, tablet or smart device to update automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it.  In most cases, you can turn on automatic updates in your device settings.

If your device uses the Windows operating system, and you are still using Windows 7, you will no longer be receiving updates, including security updates.  This leaves your device vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other malicious software. You should upgrade to the latest version of Windows to remain secure.

Back up any valuable data, including photos, to an external location such as a hard drive or USB key.  This way, you’ll have access to your data if your computer breaks, is stolen, or is hacked.

You can find further information on how to keep safe online on the National Cyber Security Centre’s website.

Useful fraud prevention websites

Take Five

Take Five is a national fraud awareness campaign from UK Finance. One of its aim is to encourage people to stop, challenge and protect:

Stop – before you give any money or information away, think.

Challenge – is it legitimate, or could it be a scam? You have the right to refuse and ignore any requests.

Protect – if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank to let them know what’s happened and report it to Action Fraud.

You can find more information on how to recognise and prevent cyber crime and fraud on Take Five’s website.

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Learn more about fraud prevention and how to report a scam on Action Fraud’s website.