Top security tips to protect yourself against fraud this Christmas

29 November 2019

Black Friday marks the start of the festive season, not just for us, but for criminals too. We will all be frantically seeking out some pre-Christmas bargains both on the high street and online. It’s easy to get carried away with the festive cheer but remember the old adage ‘If something looks too good to be true then generally it is.’

If you’re concerned about fraud, Head of Information Security at Atom bank, Jon Holden, has provided some useful tips to keep you protected and to ensure you don’t put yourself in danger.

  1. Be wise and choose where you shop carefully

    “When buying online, look for the padlock or lock icon located in the web browser. Check out the feedback section for buyer reviews and ask if the seller has a returns policy. Do they have a physical address or are they only contactable via phone or email - this may be a red flag!”

    “Use a credit card when making a big money purchase, as the majority of card companies have online insurance from their customers. Be mindful that some products may be counterfeit - top end designer goods are rarely discounted so you may be buying counterfeit goods.”

  2. Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails or share too much information

    “Fraudsters send out phishing emails which may appear to be from a legitimate online company from which you have previously made a purchase, requesting that you are required to update your payment card details. Check the URL in your web browser. Fraudsters change an address ever so slightly in the hope that you won’t notice that it isn’t the genuine website e.g. If you are in any doubt contact the company direct i.e. not via the link. Don’t share too much information and only complete what is required. If you feel uncomfortable with the information you’re being asked for then don’t share it.”

  3. Update your apps, browsers, PCs, phones, iPads, tablets…

    “Regularly check and install the latest software and app updates on your devices. They contain important security updates that can protect you against malware and fraud.”

  4. Use strong passwords and switch on multi-factor authentication

    “It might seem obvious, but many people still use simple and straightforward passwords that are easily guessed by fraudsters. Hackers usually work through lists of common passwords searching for the right combination, and once they’ve guessed your log in details for one account, they could use your credentials to access multiple websites.”

    “Use unique passwords for each service you use. Make sure they don’t include names or key dates like your birthday as this could put you at risk. Make it hard to guess by using upper and lower-case letters, special characters and numbers, but not so hard that you won’t remember and have to write it down. Also switch on multi-factor authentication, this will keep you extra protected as it will ask for two or more pieces of evidence to gain access to your account.”

  5. “When using a public/shared computer, make sure you log out before leaving the machine and don’t click on ‘remember me’ as that could allow the next user to log in to your account.”

    “Selecting the ‘remember my card details’ option is very convenient for future purchases, but means you’re putting a lot of trust in the company behind the website. If they don’t store your details, they can’t lose your details to hackers!”


Note to Editors

After securing its banking license in June 2015, Atom bank launched operations in April 2016, offering market-leading Fixed Saver accounts and secured business lending for small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’). From the start, Atom set out to build a customer-driven bank, designed to meet their new needs and optimised for mobile technologies.

Atom bank launched its first mobile mortgage product in December 2016 and has taken £1.8bn in deposits and lent over £2.4bn to small businesses and homeowners.

Atom is here to change banking, creating a disruptive and digital bank, keeping costs low and passing back the value to its customers. The Atom app is at the heart of the bank, with a 24/7 support team on hand to help with any customer queries through phone, chat, email and social media, working out of their Durham HQ.

The Atom executive team are highly experienced, having built and run some of the most well-respected banks in the UK. CEO Mark Mullen has 25 years’ experience in the sector and was previously CEO at the multi- award-winning telephone and internet bank first direct. The team are supported by a strong non-exec board, which includes Chairman, Bridget Rosewell. Bridget has an economics background, is also Chairman of the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency and on the board of Network Rail as well as a Commissioner with the National Infrastructure Commission.

Since its creation in April 2014, Atom has:

  • Raised just over £450m of equity capital through the support of private and institutional investors, including BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management
  • Built a highly motivated and experienced team of around 360 permanent employees
  • Been ranked 9th in KPMG’s ‘Global 2018 Fintech 100’ listing, and uniquely in the EU have been top 10 in this listing for the last four years
  • Ranked 1st in Tech World’s Digital Challengers list
  • Ranked 14th in LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25 Startups’ 2017
  • Voted the UK’s most recommended bank
  • Industry leading NPS score of +74
  • 5 star rating and the UK’s most trusted bank on Trustpilot
  • 97% of customers said they would recommend us on Reevoo
  • Established a global network of partners and suppliers
  • Launched 3 and 6 month and 1, 2, 3 and 5 Year market-leading Fixed Saver accounts -Atom has taken £1.8bn in deposits so far
  • Launched Digital Mortgages by Atom bank, offering secured lending to SMEs and residential mortgage products - Atom has loaned over £2.4bn to date
  • joined Atom bank as a Strategic Board Advisor, giving an external perspective on culture, community and technology
  • Announced a four year STEM partnership with the Prince’s Trust in North East England
  • Signed up to the Women in Finance Charter in 2016 and the Tech Talent Charter in 2017
  • Became a direct participant of the Faster Payments and Bacs Payment schemes
  • Announced the Atom Incubator to support North East startups at their HQ in Durham
  • Agreed multi-year partnership with leading fintech Thought Machine
  • Named in the Chronicle’s top 50 best places to work in the North East and listed in the top 20
  • Featured in London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019