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
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
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
Keep your computer's software up-to-date and watch out for
Using the latest software version makes your computer more secure. Always register your software for
support – and subscribe to alert and update services.
Protect your mobile phone and devices
Your mobile phones and devices can contain personal information – you may use them for internet
banking or online shopping, for example. To make your devices more secure, you may want to consider:
- setting up and using a security PIN code.
- adjusting your device’s settings so it automatically locks if you don’t use it for
five or ten minutes.
- thinking about what personal information and passwords you store on your devices.
- keeping the operating system on your devices up-to-date.
- phone call and text message scams.
- whether it’s a good idea to click on links in text messages.
Understand how criminals use the internet
Criminals are in it for the money. They can make money online by:
- asking you for personal information. Take a moment to stop and think before you part with any
personal information – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- sending spam with bogus deals and products. If an offer appears too good to be true, it probably
- taking over your computer and using it to attack other people’s computers.
- using viruses to display unwanted adverts on your PC.
- stealing your passwords and bank details using viruses, fake emails and fake websites.
Criminals can be good at making their emails and websites look legitimate, but here are a few ways to
spot fake ones:
- The website doesn’t display the padlock symbol in the address bar when you log in.
- Poor design, bad spelling or random use of capital letters.
- Odd looking email or web address, perhaps similar to well-known brand names.
- If it’s an email, is it addressed to you or ‘Dear Friend’?
- Are you told you have a limited time to respond? Criminals will pressure you to act quickly if
Protecting yourself and your money takes a bit of knowledge and the right software. A good starting
point is to download Rapport software and use an up-to-date
browser, which we refer to on this site.
Look after your paper statements
Criminals can steal people’s identity by accessing personal information from different sources,
including paper bank statements.
Store paper documents securely and, if you decide to throw them away in the future, make sure
they’re shredded or ripped up before you put them in the bin.
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi
Avoid using online banking, social networking, sending emails or making purchases on public Wi-Fi or
internet café/public library computers. Cyber-criminals can set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots that
appear to be legitimate, but which allow them to track your activity once you’ve logged onto
Often public computers don’t have good enough protection software installed to recognise and
quarantine malicious software (malware) that could record your log-in details if you enter them.
It’s also important not to save any personal information (such as usernames or account
details) on a public computer – you don’t want anyone to be able to access them after
Install anti-virus software
Internet viruses are bad news. They steal personal information, can take over your PC or even use
computer to attack other people's. An up-to-date anti-virus software should protect you against all
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
for surfing the web are also protected.
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.