Protecting yourself

Hints and tips on how to avoid scams and keep safe

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, act promptly.

If you have M&S Bank card, call 0345 900 0900. Also, let any other credit providers know straightaway.

How to protect yourself

There's lots you can do to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.

Start by following these simple steps and be aware of the various ways that fraud can be carried out.

Keep passwords safe

Never tell someone your password or PIN – or write them down. Don't be tempted to use passwords that can easily be guessed such as children's names or birth dates. Choose a combination of numbers and letters of upper and lower case to strengthen your password. And don't use the same password for other online accounts.

Always log out

If you're in a secure (padlocked) part of the M&S Bank website, always click on the log out link when you've finished. And if other people use your computer, close the internet browser too.

Don't give away too much personal information

Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, are becoming a particular target for cyber-criminals wanting to gather small pieces of personal information published online. If you allow it, people can see your date of birth, mobile number, address, information on your family and potentially much more. If enough personal information is collected, it could be used to steal your identity.

Instead try to limit how much personal info you give away online. And check the privacy settings on each site that you use to make sure you only share personal information with people you trust.

Keep your cards safe

  • Remember to sign your card as soon as you receive it and keep it in a safe place
  • When using your card, shield your card number and PIN so that others around you can't see it
  • Never hand your cards over to anyone who says they are coming to collect them. We would never ring to say we were coming to pick up your cards, and neither would the police
  • If you have additional cardholders, ensure they are also aware of these tips
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately

If you have any questions or concerns about the security of your M&S Bank cards, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us on 0345 900 0900.

Keep your computer's software up-to-date and watch out for bugs!

Using the latest software version makes your computer more secure. Always register your software for support – and subscribe to alert and update services.

Install anti-virus software

Internet viruses are bad news. They steal personal information, can take over your PC or even use your computer to attack other people's. An up-to-date anti-virus software should protect you against all of them.

There are many effective anti-virus software programs to choose from – both paid for and free – ask someone you trust what they use or do your research on the internet. Set the software to scan files when you access them – and to download updates when you go online.

And don't forget, anti-virus software isn't just for computers, so make sure any other devices you use for surfing the web are also protected.

Use IBM Trusteer Rapport

This is free security software that protects you when you’re banking online. You can use it at the same time as your anti-virus software and it helps protect you from online identity theft and fraud.

Trusteer Rapport keeps you safe by:

  • getting rid of viruses that may already be on your computer
  • stopping new viruses from being downloaded
  • telling you that you’re using the bank’s real website, and not a fake one
  • locking down the link made between your computer and your bank

Why not install IBM Trusteer Rapport to make online banking safer? 

Download IBM Trusteer Rapport

Download IBM Rapport for Mac OSX, Mountain Lion or later >

Uninstall remote access software

Software is available to allow genuine people to remotely access your PC (IT companies for repair, for example). Fraudsters can also use this to remotely access your PC and act on your behalf. If you do not need to use this software, remove it from your PC.

Follow our useful tips

  • Keep your information up to date – from time to time we may contact you to request information or documents from you.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them – and report any transactions you don't recognise.
  • Keep a note of when your bills and statements should arrive in the post. If you don't receive a statement, tell the organisation straightaway.
  • Get regular updates of your personal credit file to see which financial organisations have accessed your details. You can get copies of your credit file from a credit reference agency:
    Call Credit
  • Be wary of unsolicited approaches by phone, especially if you are asked to provide any personal information.
  • If you are suspicious or feel vulnerable, don't be afraid to end the call and refuse requests for information.
  • M&S Bank will never call you unexpectedly to ask you to generate a security code on your M&S PASS or ask for your PIN number.
  • Never share your security details with anyone else.

What next?

Report it

If you think you've been the victim of a scam, report it to us as soon as possible by calling
0345 900 0900. You should also report it to Action Fraud (link opens in a new window).

Take Five

You can also visit the Take Five (link opens in a new window) website for more help on protecting yourself against fraud.

Stay safe

We also have our own Financial Fraud leaflet which tells you more about how to stay safe online.