Keeping you safe and secure

How to protect yourself

How to protect yourself

We do all we can to keep you safe online but there's also plenty you can do to help protect yourself.

What is anti-virus software?

Anti-virus software is a computer program that searches your hard disk for viruses and removes any that are found. It only protects against what it already knows about. New viruses spread very quickly so you must update your anti-virus software regularly, on a weekly basis at the very minimum.

What anti-virus products are available?

There are many anti-virus products to choose from so it's best to do your research. Most anti-virus suppliers also offer a firewall product at little or no extra cost, and these can be set up at the same time.

You'll need to ensure your chosen product is set up to check for updates every time your computer is switched on, and runs a weekly scan. Typically updates take a couple of minutes and will happen in the background. Ideally it should also be set up to perform a full scan of the computer once a week.

What is spyware / adware and how to prevent it

Spyware is a program that secretly gathers information about what you do on your computer and quite often it does this without your knowledge.

In its least dangerous forms it is known as adware. Adware collects information about your internet habits on behalf of companies and can occasionally pops up adverts as you surf.

How does it work?

In its more dangerous form, it can act like a Trojan virus which is installed on your computer without you realising. You do not have to be connected to the internet to be spied upon, but once on the internet, any information gathered can be sent to the fraudsters spying on you.

How can I prevent it?

Spyware removers, search out these programs in the same way as anti-virus and can also block those annoying pop-up adverts.

There are many free anti-spyware programs which can be downloaded and used to scan your computer for spyware and adware, like Ad-aware. 

Signs of infection

If you keep getting pop up windows all over your screen, you may have been infected with spyware or adware. You should run a scan like Ad-Aware or Windows Defender to detect and to remove it. Also, if you run Windows XP Service Pack 2 or newer, you can enable the pop-up blocker in Internet Explorer by going to:


  1. Tools
  2. Internet Options
  3. Privacy tab
  4. Check the pop-up blocker box

Free security software

In Partnership with the online security experts Trusteer, we're pleased to offer you Trusteer Rapport security software. It works alongside your current anti-virus software and firewalls and provides comprehensive online protection.

How it works

  • it verifies you are really connected to the bank's genuine website, 
  • it locks down communication between your computer and the bank's website, upon verification.
  • and, protects your computer and internet connection by creating safe communication with your bank, preventing use of malware.

Find out more & download Trusteer

Useful links

Anti-virus links

The following external anti-virus products are available for both PC and Mac's, although they're not specifically recommended by Nationwide.

Anti-spyware links

The following external anti-spyware products are available, The following external anti-virus products are available

What are browsers and cookies?

A browser, short for web browser, is a software application that enables you to view and access website pages.

A cookie is a text file placed on your computer by Nationwide, which is used to provide extra security. To use our Internet Banking service you will need to allow Nationwide to place a temporary cookie on your computer. This change has been made to further enhance the security of the Internet Banking service.

Change your browser settings

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 6 & 7

Change the privacy settings

1. Choose Tools
2. Choose Internet Options
2. Select privacy
3. Select a setting, except 'block all cookies' (Recommend Medium High)
4. Select apply
5. Select OK

Internet Explorer icon

Advanced Privacy settings

If you use custom settings on Internet Explorer, make sure the 'always allow session cookies'; box is checked within the Advanced Privacy Settings.

Firefox

Firefox (PC)

Privacy settings

1. Choose tools
2. Choose options
3. Select privacy
4. Tick 'accept cookies from sites' box
5. Choose from the "keep until" box
6. Select OK

Firefox (Mac)

Preferences

1. Go to Firefox option on the toolbar
2. Select the preferences option
3. Select privacy
4. Tick 'accept cookies from sites' box
5. Choose from the 'Keep until' box

Firefox logo

Opera

Opera

Preferences

  1. Select Tools, then Preferences
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. From the left hand menu select Cookies
  4. Select the 'accept cookies' option
Opera logo

Safari

Safari (Mac)

Preferences

  1. Go to Safari option on the toolbar
  2. Select the Preferences option
  3. Click the Security tab
  4. Choose either 'Always' or 'Only' from sites you navigate to
Safari logo

How to enable cookies

You will need to either:

  • Change your browser settings to enable cookies for all sites across the internet; or
  • Add Nationwide to your trusted sites list

If you're sure your browser is set to accept cookies, you may be seeing this page as you're using an out of date URL. If you have Internet Banking saved as a favourite, make sure the address saved is www.nationwide.co.uk and access Internet Banking by selecting 'log in'.

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Useful browser update links

The following external browser links are available for both PC and Mac's, although they're not specifically recommended by Nationwide.

Email security

Occasionally, bogus emails are used by fraudsters in an attempt to extract your personal banking details. It is important to remember, Nationwide will never ask you to update any information by email. Neither we nor the police will ever contact you and ask for your personal banking details, PIN or passwords. If you do receive an email that seems to have been sent from Nationwide asking for your personal banking details, pin, passwords, or you are suspicious in any way, please delete it immediately. Do not call any telephone number or respond to the email, genuine emails can always be re-sent.

Any emails we send out are about our products and service, examples are listed below:

Emails about our products

These emails will always display your postcode at the top and will come from:


  • nationwide@nationwide-communications.co.uk
  • nationwide@nationwide-service.co.uk

If you have registered for the SavingsWatch service, you will receive SavingsWatch notifications by email from:


  • nationwide@nationwide-savingswatch.co.uk.

You will receive a SavingsWatch welcome email including your name, and all further emails will contain your name along with either your postcode or the last four digits of your account number. We will not email you from any of these email addresses if you have opted out or unsubscribed from receiving such notifications.

Insurance quotes products

If you have got an online quote for or bought insurance from Nationwide, you will receive confirmation and follow-up emails. These emails will always display your postcode at the top and bottom of the email and come from:


  • nationwide@nationwide-email.co.uk 

AGM

If you have requested to receive access to future AGM documents by email, they will always display your postcode at the top and bottom of the email (if we have a valid UK postcode on our records) and will come from:


  • nationwidebuildingsociety@electoralreform.co.uk

Paperless statements

If you have chosen to no longer receive paper statements on your FlexAccount or Credit Card account you will receive an email each month telling you that your statement is ready to view. These emails will come from noreply@nationwide.co.uk and will also always display your postcode at the top and bottom of the email.

Security tips when using the internet

HTML emails

These are in fact a web page. They can be manipulated to hide viruses which when opened may attack your PC. You should only open emails that are from a trusted source

Email attachments

Plain text emails can contain attachments which, when you open, contain a virus. The most common computer viruses and other malicious software are spread through email attachments.

Password security

Use a strong password for example:

  • At least 6 characters consisting of letters, numbers and symbols (@, #, $, %, etc.) if allowed.
  • Use upper and lowercase letters.
  • Don't use your names, birth dates or pet names
  • Never write down or share your password
  • Regularly change your password 
  • Use different passwords for each site you use.

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What is a firewall?

A personal firewall protects your personal computer and private network from malicious mischief. Malware, malicious software, is the primary threat to your home computer. There are two ways a firewall can prevent this happening: 

  • it can allow all traffic to pass through except data that meets a predetermined set of criteria, or
  • it can prohibit all traffic unless it meets a predetermined set of criteria.

What firewall products are available?

There are many firewall and anti-virus products to choose from so it's best to do your research. We have included some suppliers below, but none of these are specifically endorsed or recommended by Nationwide.

Most anti-virus suppliers also offer a firewall product at little or no extra cost, and these can be set up at the same time.

Firewall products

Firewall software should be set up to automatically update. As a minimum, if you don't have this firewall or one as part of your Anti Virus package, you should make sure that the Windows firewall is switched on (this is found in the Security Centre of the Control Panel).

You'll need to ensure your chosen product is set up to check for updates every time your computer is switched on, and runs a weekly scan. Typically updates take a couple of minutes and will happen in the background. Ideally it should also be set up to perform a full scan of the computer once a week.

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Useful Firewall links

The following external Firewall products are available, although they're not specifically recommended by Nationwide.

Card reader and security questions

FAQs