Stay safe online

There are 6 simple steps you can take to help protect your computer/mobile device and browse the internet more safely.

Step 1: Keep your device secure

Anti-virus software has improved significantly over the last few years. As new viruses appear, anti-virus firms update their solutions to stop them. You should ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your device and that you are running the most up to date version.

Spyware are hidden programs that contain malicious code that can record details of your internet activity. You should make sure you are able to detect and remove any of these programs using anti-virus software and other commercially available products.

A firewall can protect your device from unauthorised access when using the internet. You should ensure you have a firewall installed and activated.

Step 2: Keep your password and User ID secret

Don't give these to anyone, including your family members and friends. If you feel you need to record your login details somewhere, make a reasonable attempt to disguise it. Password Managers can assist in generating and storing passwords in an encrypted database so that you can easily create a strong password and retrieve it when you need it, without the need to memorise it or write it down.

Step 3: Password protect documents

You can protect a document by using a password to prevent unauthorised access. The way to do this will vary. For more information, see Password protecting documents.

Step 4: Beware of spoof emails

Spoof emails are sent to random email addresses in an attempt to obtain (or "phish" for) personal details. These may link to a website that looks very similar to a Standard Life website but in fact, is a near replica (or "spoof" website), which may ask for credit card or Internet security and email contact details.

Standard Life will never send you emails or texts that ask for security details or other confidential information.

When accessing our online services, ensure you login only through If you receive an email or text that looks as if it has been sent from Standard Life requesting your login or other confidential details, please forward it to us at and delete it.

Step 5: Install patches and security updates

Software companies frequently issue updates (known as patches) to address security problems discovered in internet browsers and operating systems. You should keep your device up to date with these by visiting the supplier's website or using update features installed within your existing software.

Step 6: Raise your awareness on safer computing