With the ever increasing number of bogus emails and phishing scams from individuals claiming to be someone they’re not, there’s the danger of exposing your personal details to fraud. So courtesy of Companies House, here are methods to protect yourself online:
Keep your login details secure. Do not write them down or tell anyone what they are, including Companies House staff.
Use strong passwords. Remember to make them unique so they cannot be easily guessed by someone else. They should always contain a mix of letters and numbers. Try to avoid using common phrases or anything obvious like your name or date of birth. Change your password regularly; we suggest that you do this at least once every three months.
Make sure your computer has anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and that it is continually updated allowing it to check the contents of the files on your computer against the information it holds about known viruses.
Personal firewall and secure wireless network
Make sure any computer which connects to the internet has appropriate firewall protection to block any unauthorised connections being made. If you’re using a wireless network, ensure it is secure.
Update your web browser
Use the most up to date version of your preferred web browser; this could reduce your chance of falling victim to online phishing scams, by displaying messages to alert you.
Keep your operating system up to date
Make sure you download and install updates regularly.
If you are using mobile devices to communicate with Companies House make sure that you use anti-virus software relevant to that device. Security for mobile devices is just as important as for your home computer.
Please be careful about the detail you provide when social networking. Never disclose personal information.
Never enter sensitive information such as account details, PINs or passwords via a website link within an email.
Ensure websites are secure – look for the prefix ‘https’ and a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol. Check the authenticity of a secure website by double clicking on the symbol. Contact the website owner on a known or independently verified phone number. Companies House provides regular updates on scams they are aware of.
Please do everything you can to ensure that the identifiers and passwords you use when accessing Companies House systems are kept secure and updated regularly.
Attachments and emails
Beware of attachments and emails – even if they appear innocent, they could contain a virus designed to steal your personal information.
Type the full address of secure websites into your browser, rather than searching for it – this helps avoid being misdirected to a bogus site.
Websites charging for services
Some websites offer services which Companies House will provide free of charge. These include premium rate connection charges to Companies House Helplines.