There are five simple steps you can take to help protect your home computer and allow you to browse the internet more safely.
Anti-virus software has developed and improved significantly over the last few years to address the increasing threats to your computer from computer viruses. As new viruses appear, anti-virus firms update their solutions to stop them. You should ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and that you are running the most up to date version.
Spyware are hidden programs that contain malicious code that can record details of your internet activity. You should make sure you are able to detect and remove any of these programs using anti-virus software and other commercially available products.
A firewall can protect your computer from unauthorised access when using the internet. You should ensure you have a firewall installed and activated.
Don't give these to anyone, including your family members and friends. If you feel you need to record your PIN or password somewhere, make a reasonable attempt to disguise it.
You may have heard in the news that, across the financial services industry, certain unknown individuals are sending fabricated (or 'spoof') emails to random email addresses in an attempt to obtain (or 'phish' for) personal details.
The spoof email may link to a website which looks very similar to a Standard Life website but in fact, is a near replica (or 'spoof' website) which may ask for credit card or Internet security and email contact details.
Please be aware that Standard Life will never send out emails to existing customers that ask for security details or other confidential information from you. When accessing our online facilities, please ensure you login through our websites - never go to any internet banking website from a link in an email and then enter personal details.
If you receive an email that looks as if it has been sent from Standard Life requesting your Internet security or other confidential details, please do not respond to this or visit any site which the email may link to. You should forward the email to us and delete it.
See also - Shareholder scams.
Advance Fee Scams (419 Fraud)
Scam emails alleging to be from, or associated with Standard Life (and our employees) continue to be circulated to try and defraud people out of money. Unfortunately scam emails of this nature are becoming more and more prevalent and regrettably there is very little that Standard Life can do to prevent their circulation.
The fraudsters issue 1000's of emails and letters daily to individuals and organisations worldwide with tales of having millions locked in a foreign bank account (usually West African)/ or alleging to have access to money held within their so-called place of employment. The email or letter will often say that the money has come from bribes, government accounts or the unclaimed money from someone who recently died. It will also involve promising the recipient an attractive percentage of the money just for transferring the money into their account and will sometimes include documentation featuring the Standard Life brand/ logo.
ALWAYS be suspicious of any unsolicited emails received from strangers on the internet, asking for or offering money.
We would like to make it clear that any such emails have no connection with, and are not endorsed or promoted by, the Standard Life group in any way and would strongly recommend that should you receive such an email you do not engage in any communication with the sender of the email and delete it.
Should you receive any such emails then please forward them to the Standard Life Group Financial Crime mailbox - GFC_investigations@standardlife.com and if you have already engaged in communications with the sender of the email and sent money, report the matter to the Police immediately.
Software companies frequently issue updates (known as a patch) to address security problems discovered in internet browsers and operating systems. You should keep your computer up to date with these by visiting the supplier's website or using update features installed within your existing software.
The following websites provide further information on safer home computing: