Personal details
Passwords play an integral part in your account security and it is imperative that you keep your password protected and do not disclose it to anyone else. The same applies to your Customer ID number. Our advice is to commit all of this information to memory.

It is vitally important that your security details are not recorded where they can be discovered, or observed, by anyone else. We also recommend that you change your password frequently, as an additional, but valuable security measure.

The majority of viruses are spread via e-mail. The titles of these are often worded in such a way to make you open the e-mail or even open an attached file. The attachment may then turn out to be a malevolent program, which you have just given access to your PC. We recommend that you use anti-virus software and ensure that you have the latest version installed on your PC at all times. This software prevents unauthorised access to your PC when you’re on the Internet.

Beware of attached files
You should always pay attention to e-mails with file attachments, in particular when they are from someone unfamiliar, have some sort of strange text or are in a foreign language. Unexpected e-mails from famous people/people known to you should also arouse suspicion, especially if the title seems surprising.

When in doubt, consider erasing the e-mail unopened, or contact the sender.

Worms and viruses most often come from someone known to the receiver. Worms and viruses often use the address database in the PC under attack to duplicate itself, and subsequently send to others so the sender of the file looks familiar to the next receiver.

Another type of attack – called spoofing – may even get an e-mail to ‘pretend’ to be from a particular person or company, without this person or company having any knowledge of the email in question.

Hoax e-mails
A hoax e-mail is intended to make you destroy your PC by asking you to erase a vital file. Often you will be asked to transmit the information to your friends, thus spreading the attack.
Hoax e-mails will often claim that they are trying to prevent virus attacks on your computer, and often refer to a known software supplier such as Microsoft or IBM. The e-mail may even be masked with the company as the sender, via spoofing.

Phishing is the attempt to lure the receiver of the e-mail to divulge confidential information. This is usually done via e-mails or bogus homepages. Phishing attacks normally try to emulate banks, insurance companies, various popular online services, online stores or credit card companies. The phoney homepages are designed for the purpose of deceiving the receiver of the e-mail in order to obtain confidential information, which may lead to economic crime or identity theft.

These e-mails usually talk about online security and ask you to click on a link and enter your security details into what may look like a genuine website. It's very important you do not use these links and enter your security details. Unfortunately, there is little we, or any other bank, can do to stop these e-mails being sent.

Northern Rock will never ask you to divulge your online security details by e-mail, telephone, or by any written communication.

Please be aware that if you do receive an e-mail claiming to be from Northern Rock, asking you to confirm your security details online or to divulge such items as your CPR number, you should not respond to it and should contact us as soon as possible.