5 tips to help you stay secure with Atom
Feeling uncertain about your money? With a turbulent economy and fraud now being the most common crime in the UK (NCA), that’s very understandable.
Here at Atom, we have a range of features to make sure your money is safe when you choose to bank with us. These range from features in our app that protect your data to contingency measures to ensure you’re covered in the highly unlikely event something goes wrong.
But, while we take all the necessary precautions, we recommend that you do everything you can to manage your money safely. There are a few good habits you can practise to make sure you don’t end up becoming a victim of fraud.
In this blog post, we’re going to give you an overview of the security measures that we use at Atom. And we’ll also share some tips you can follow to stay as safe as possible.
How Atom keeps your money safe and secure
You can choose several ways to log into our app. This way, you can stay safe while choosing the method that’s most convenient for you. Each way offers a high level of security to ensure that only you can access your account.
Our app is compatible with device security, so you can log in via the method you have set up on your phone or tablet. This might be iOS Touch ID or Face ID if you’re an Apple user, or Fingerprint if you’re an Android user.
We also offer our own biometric security options (Face and Voice recognition), as well as the option to log in via your Passcode.
Secure data storage and encryption
When you’re all set on our app, we take measures to keep your data secure. Firstly, we never store any information on the app. And, any data that we do need to store is kept on our secure servers and is encrypted.
Additional security checks
Our app is at the heart of everything we do. So, naturally, we’ve included the option to manage your details. However, to maintain the safety of your account, we will ask you to pass additional security checks when you want to make key changes. We’ll also ask you to get in touch if you wish to update your Atom biometrics.
Confirmation of Payee
Confirmation of Payee is a name checking service that allows you to check the details of your payee (someone you’re sending money to) before sending any funds. It’s a vital service that we use to prevent fraud and misdirected payments.
As an Atom customer, you’ll use this service through our app to check the details of your account before sending money to it from another provider. You’ll also be using it when we need to check the details of an external bank account you pay your funds out to from your Atom account.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
The FSCS is the UK’s deposit protection scheme. It’s there to protect you should the authorised financial services provider you’re using go out of business and can’t pay out your money. You are covered up to £85,000 per financial services provider for losses.
As a licensed bank that’s regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, Atom bank is covered by the FSCS, giving you peace of mind that your money is protected. You can find out more about the details of the Scheme here.
5 tips to help you bank as securely as possible
Choose passwords wisely (and keep them secure)
When you bank online, you need to make sure that you choose your password wisely and keep it secure once set. Try to avoid choosing the same password for every account you have and don’t store or save it somewhere obvious.
A good way of choosing a strong password is to combine three or more random words and include some numbers and symbols wherever you can. For example, “a” can be “@” and “l” can be “1”. Don’t forget to mix in some upper and lower case letters as well.
Take care with shared devices and security
If you use any shared devices, such as one shared with your partner or other family members, and enable your device security (Face ID, Touch ID, Android Fingerprint), remember that all users will also likely have access to any apps that sign in with those same credentials. This could mean that the other user can access your bank account.
Obviously, this is unlikely to be a problem as long as only trusted users can access your device. But, we do recommend that you keep it in mind if you’re sharing. If in any doubt, disable device security or avoid doing your banking on the shared device.
Don’t reply to messages asking for information
According to the Office for National Statistics, around half of UK adults reported getting a “phishing” message in the month before being surveyed. These types of messages are designed to hook you into providing personal information when you reply. Worryingly, they’re becoming ever more sophisticated in how they target people.
At the most basic level, the general rule is to never reply to an email that asks you to share personal information. For more detailed advice, it’s worth reading this guide from ActionFraud that gives tips on how to spot and deal with phishing scams.
Only access your accounts on secure wi-fi
Did you know not all wi-fi networks are as friendly as the one you have at home? Public wi-fi networks — like those in pubs, cafes and shops — are often unsecure, leaving you at risk if you connect to them and carry out any sensitive transactions on your device.
Why is this the case? Primarily, it’s because criminals can insert themselves between you and the wi-fi network, as a kind of go-between. This can give them unfettered access to any data you’re sending over the network, including sensitive details. It’s also possible for them to distribute malware to your device over public networks.
Therefore, we recommend that you don’t carry out any banking transactions over public wi-fi. If you must manage your money on the go, using your mobile network’s 4G or 5G is much more secure. It’s also a good idea to keep your wi-fi turned off when you don’t need it, just to ensure you don’t unknowingly connect to any networks you’ve saved.
Keep your device’s operating system up to date
As a regular user of a phone or tablet, you’ve likely seen the message that pops up to let you know that there is an update available for your device’s operating system (OS).
It’s vital that you make a point of downloading and installing these updates for two key reasons. Firstly, they keep your device up to date and often contain fixes that help to protect it from the latest security threats.
Secondly, many apps, including banking apps, require you to keep your phone or tablet up to date, so they can be sure you’re using the latest software. You may even find that your app stops working without the latest OS update. App developers do this to ensure you’re using the latest security that helps to protect the app as it runs.
For instance, at Atom bank, our app will only support the latest version of both Android and iOS operating systems, as well as the two preceding versions.
If you’d like more information on different types of fraud to look out for, as well as tips on how to prevent it, head over to Take Five’s website.