Internet best practice

We have put together the following best practice points that should assist you when using the internet, either when accessing our products or in general day to day use.

Don't download software, open attachments or follow links that you’re sent by email unless you’re sure they’re safe.

If you are in doubt about the source of an email, for example if you don't recognise the sender, it's best to delete it without reading the content.

E-mails and their attachments are often used to spread viruses or install trojans or spyware and provide an entry point for a hacker to access your computer.

Always log-out

Never leave your computer unattended while connected to any site you are using, especially if you are shopping or banking online.
Ensure you log-out properly by selecting the 'log-out' button if the site has one. If you are disconnected from your ISP, always log back in immediately if you were using a secure service (e.g. online banking, share dealing or online shopping) at the time.
Log-out correctly when you have finished to ensure the connection is dropped, before disconnecting and leaving your computer.

Tabbed Browsing

You should not use tabbed browsing e.g. multiple windows with Internet Explorer 7 and above when carrying out online banking.

Dedicated PC

Wherever possible, we recommend you use a single dedicated PC to carry out all your online banking and that this PC is not used for any other purpose.

Non Business use

If you are unable to use a single dedicated PC for online banking, we recommend that you only access internet banking applications from PC’s that are NOT used for personal browsing and this advice is supported by government agencies.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you are using the Internet in a public place, be aware of anyone monitoring you, especially if you're shopping online or using username and password details to access sites.
Ensure that no-one is watching you and that you are not being filmed by closed circuit television (CCTV) as this can capture personal details.

Check for monitoring equipment

If you are using a computer in a public place, make sure the equipment you are using does not allow electronic eavesdropping or recording of your activities. This will prevent any username or password details from being seen or recorded by the keystrokes. These are hard to spot, so at work check with your systems administrator or, if you are in an Internet cafe or library, ask a member of staff.

Check the web site certificate

If you are using a web site that is supposed to be secure, i.e. begins https:// check its online certificate via the yellow padlock symbol. The yellow padlock symbol are security features of our supported browsers i.e. Internet Explorer or Firefox.

To check an online certificate Left Click on the yellow padlock symbol and check that the name on the certificate matches the site you are in and that it has a valid date.

With Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox the yellow padlock symbol is displayed at the bottom of your browser screen, while with Internet Explorer version 7 and above it will be displayed at the top in the address bar as shown below.

Clear your cache

It's a good idea to clear the cache on the computer you are using when you have finished, especially if it is a shared computer or you were using it in a public place. The cache (or Temporary Internet Files) store the web pages you have viewed, in your computer's memory. Clearing this will prevent others from calling up the last page you visited.

Delete private information

If you saved or copied any information from the Internet on to the computer you were working on, delete this information if you were using a public or temporary computer, e.g. in an Internet cafe or library.
This is especially important if you downloaded any private account information from an online banking service.

Close down your browser

When you have cleared your cache and history, close down the web browser itself.