Keeping your details safe is our priority. We make sure that the systems we use have the right controls in place so that your data is protected, secure and is only accessible by you when you need it. We can’t always prevent something from happening, but with your help we can make sure the risk and impact to you is minimal and that we respond quickly.
Our promise to you
We’ll make sure your personal data and money is kept as secure as possible by monitoring our systems constantly for any unusual activity. We may contact you if we become aware of anything suspicious. Remember, if you notice anything unusual or suspicious on your account(s) please let us know as soon as you can.
If you’re a victim of fraud, we’ll help you get the support and tools to keep your information and money safe in the future.
We’ll keep you up to date with our latest security advice. From time to time you may see details on our website with hints and tips for you to improve the security of your data. This could include making sure you use strong passwords and asking you to update us if any of your details change, such as your email address or telephone number.
How we keep your information safe
Our systems are regularly checked to make sure that your details are kept safe and secure.
If you phone us, we will ask you some questions to prove your identity. We will ask you for your full name, the address that your account is registered to, your date of birth and a security question such as your mother’s maiden name. We will never ask you for your online logon details, such as your username and/or password.
What can you do to help?
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your data:
- Anti-virus software
Your data and money can be stolen through malicious content on your device. Using up to date anti-virus software from a well-known, reputable company installed on your device helps to minimise the risk of it being accessed. There are lots of options to choose from. Using a comparison website can help find the best one for you.
- Sharing personal information
If you use social media, be sure to check the privacy settings so that personal data is protected. Make sure that you don’t share confidential information on social media such as your address or bank account information as this can often be viewed publicly. Take care when uploading photos to these sites too, for example, making sure your bank card or passport information cannot be seen.
Remember that people will make a lot of effort to get hold of your information, so always be careful.
You should never tell anybody what your passwords are, write them down or store them somewhere that can be easily accessed, this includes your mobile phone.
When creating a password, use a mix of upper and lower case letters, and include numbers and symbols. A passphrase is more secure than just a word. Perhaps think of a memorable phrase such as ‘ilovegoingonholiday’ and swap some of the letters around and add in numbers, such as 1lov3go1ng0nHo1idaY!, this makes it harder for anyone to guess.
We’ll never ask you to share your password/passphrase with us.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud at any point please change all passwords and the email address linked to your Hodge account.
- Secure internet connections
Ensure that you are using a secure Wi-Fi connection, ideally one that isn’t publicly accessible. Look out for the padlock symbol in your browser address bar, this confirms that your connection to the site is secure.
The padlock confirms the connection is safe, but it doesn’t tell you if the website is genuine. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, or other signs that suggest the site is not real. Phishing sites will often use similar looking characters to imitate genuine sites.
Stay alert to keep your details safe
We encourage you to check whether anything you receive is genuine. To keep your details safe, always ask yourself before you respond.
- Emails and Text messages
When you receive an email, always check its authenticity – look at the sender address, ask yourself if you were expecting the email, and question if it doesn’t address you personally.
If the email contains any links or attachments, don’t open them unless you know the sender, and you’re expecting to receive it. Emails from Hodge will always be sent from a @hodge.co.uk email address. If you receive an email from a different address claiming to be from us, or you’re not sure whether an email or query is genuine please contact us immediately via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 028 3746.
To help keep your email safe, make sure your spam filter is switched on. If you find a suspicious email, mark it as spam and delete it.
Don’t ever call numbers or follow links provided in suspicious emails, search for the right details using a separate browser and search engine. If you receive a phone call from Hodge and you’re not sure it’s us, hang up and call us back on 0800 028 3746 where we can confirm this for you.
- Telephone calls
Fraudsters may call you pretending to be from Hodge, the Police or other companies you may trust. This may be to convince you to transfer money or confirm your security details. This could be used to fraudulently access your personal details If you receive a call from Hodge and you’re not sure if it’s genuine, don’t provide or confirm any information, hang up immediately and call us back on 0800 028 3746.
When fraudsters use fake websites and send fake emails to get personal information from you, this is known as phishing. The email may look like it’s come from Hodge, it could even link to a website that looks like it’s us.
If you access or input any personal details into that site, such as a username and password, the fraudster can obtain your data.
Whilst these emails and websites may look genuine, there are ways to spot a phishing email:
- They don’t address you
The email may address you as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ without including your name.
Often, a phishing email will use poor grammar, spelling and punctuation.
They will usually include an urgent message, asking you to act quickly.
We will never email you asking for account information.
If you think you are a victim of online fraud
We’re here to help. If you suspect any suspicious activity on your account, call us on 0800 028 3746 or email us at email@example.com. You can also report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk. They will give you a crime reference number.
Learning more about online security
To find out more about keeping yourself safe online take a look at these websites: