Monthly Archives: December 2013

Careful what information you provide

When making a transaction online, remember that the retailers do not need your personal information such as your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name or your National Insurance number. But crooks need them because this information combined with the bank details you have just entered to pay for you products could be everything they need to steal your identity online.

Check the site you are currently on
Always check online to find out whether or not the site you are on is legitimate and that the website URL is spelt correctly. Cyber criminals will often create copy-cat versions of popular sites to try and con your out of your cash. If it does not look or feel right then it could be a cloned website.

Look For the Padlocks
Before completing the payment details always make sure that the website you are on uses secure software. When you are at the checkout screen check that the web address begins with `https’ and that an image of a tiny locked padlock appears in the address bar or the bottom right corner of the screen.

Beware of Free wi-fi
It is a good idea to never access secure websites or input your personal details while using a free or public wi-fi connection as someone could be watching everything you are typing and viewing over the internet connection. In fact, it is a good idea to never use open wi-fi connections at all if you can help it, if you must, then please make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is up to date.

Pay by card for extra protection
If you are spending over £100 online then, where possible, it is a good idea to pay by credit card as if things go amiss or a someone steals your money then you have got a greater chance of getting a refund.

Keep a close eye on your bank account
Check your bank statements frequently. If you spot anything you don’t recognise then query it straight away as strange searches on your credit report or odd amounts of money leaving your account could mean someone has stolen your identity. Speak to your bank about what alerts services they offer on your accounts.

A Credit Report can be one of the best ways to know if someone else is using your details. There are a number of companies who can provide you with this information. Experian or Equifax

 

TestimonialThank you Kevin, for your help and advice. It was a pleasure to have you working on our behalf in such a friendly and professional manner. You explained everything clearly each step of the way and even patiently explained things for us a second and third time when we had any questions. You were always prompt in returning calls and e mails and we would readily recommend you to family and friends.

BOEThe Bank of England has kept interest rates at a record low of 0.5%, despite signs that the UK economy is improving.

The decision was widely expected, given governor Mark Carney’s pronouncements that the Bank would not even consider raising rates until unemployment falls below 7%.

Even then, Mr Carney said a rate rise was not guaranteed.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has kept rates at 0.5% since March 2009.

The Bank also left its quantitative easing programme of monetary stimulus unchanged at £375 billion. It has remained at this level since July 2012.

With the unemployment rate at 7.6% and inflation, as measured by the consumer prices index, falling to 2.2% in October, economists believe there is little pressure on the Bank to raise rates at this stage, despite mounting evidence of a strengthening economy.

During his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility had increased its UK growth forecast for 2013 from 0.6% to 1.4%.