We’ve put together some some top tips to help you protect your overall financial wellbeing during this time:
- Set up ‘two factor authentication’ – this is to secure your online banking and/or shopping accounts. You would sign into your account using your usual password and then the second stage would send you a specific code to your mobile phone.
- Review your credit report - check for any unusual activity. ClearScore is a free and trusted website and has recently installed a ‘Protect’ function that checks if your passwords have been copied. Other credit report websites are such as Experian and Credit Karma are also available.
- Check your email address - see if it has been compromised on haveibeenpwned in any online scams. Simply type your email address in the box and it will tell you if there have been any data security breaches connected to it.
- Review your passwords – if you use the same one for multiple accounts, it’s worth changing it. You can download LastPass, a free, safe and secure app to store passwords as well as autogenerate them. Other password managers are available such as Dashlane and Keeper.
- Money Saving Expert - Martin Lewis has been working hard to provide fact-checked information and his website has the latest information.
- Strange phone calls - if you receive a call from anywhere asking to confirm any personal bank information, HANG UP! To double check if it was real, it’s worth calling your bank directly using a trusted telephone number from their website. DON’T use a phone number they provide you.
- Phishing emails – emails with bad spelling, grammar and an urgent tone should be a cause for concern. Don’t click on any of the links included. Just delete the email if it looks suspicious.
- Smishing texts – just like emails, scammers can target your mobile phone. Ignore and delete any text messages from numbers you don’t recognise or that contain strange weblinks.
You can report scams like strange phone calls, emails and texts to the Government by visiting www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing/report-hmrc-phishing-emails-texts-and-phone-call-scams.
If you’re a Nationwide Building Society member, you can check here to see the range of help and support being offered.