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Bit unsure about what a term means, our no-nonsense glossary is here to help. Find out what the terms used in Internet Security and Protection Pages mean.

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Adware delivers pop-up banners to a user's PC and in some cases it can also deliver mailicious code to the user's PC system. This code can track a user's personal information which is passed on to third parties, without the user's knowledge.

anti-Virus Software

Software which is designed to detect and remove viruses and potential threats from your computer. New viruses can spread very quickly, so you should ensure that your anti-virus software is always running and is updated on a regular basis - at least weekly.



A high-speed method of connecting to the Internet, faster than a traditional modem. The connection to the Internet is "always on" and can be used for telephone calls at the same time.


Browsers are software that provides a way to view web pages. (eg. Microsoft® Internet Explorer and Firefox®).


card not present (CNP)

This is when the details on your card have been taken and used to make card not present transactions such as internet shopping, telephone or mail order transactions.


This is when your card has been copied at a cash machine or pay counter. Make sure you never let your cards out of your sight, especially in bars, restaurants and petrol stations.


This is when the details on your card have been taken and used to make card not present transactions such as internet shopping, telephone or mail order transactions.


Cookies are small files stored on a computer's hard drive. Cookies are generally harmless and are used to recognise a user so that they can receive a more consistent experience at a website.


This is when your card has been copied at a cash machine or pay counter. Make sure you never let your cards out of your sight, especially in bars, restaurants and petrol stations.


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Encryption converts your data into an encoded form before it's sent over the Internet, stopping unauthorised users from reading the information. smile uses 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption, which is accepted as the industry standard level.



A firewall is a small program that helps protect your computer and its contents from outsiders on the Internet or network. When installed, it prevents unauthorised traffic to and from your PC.


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identity theft

Identity Theft or Impersonation is a crime in which a fraudster obtains key pieces of personal information, such as date of birth, bank details, or driver's licence numbers, to impersonate someone else.

The personal information is then used illegally to apply for credit, purchase goods and services, or to gain access to bank accounts.

internet service provider (ISP)

This is the company who supplies you with your Internet connection, for example, BT Openworld or Tiscali.


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money mule

A "money mule" or "money transfer agent" launders funds obtained as a result of phishing and Trojan scams. After being recruited by the fraudsters, money mules receive funds into their accounts and they then withdraw the money and send it overseas using a wire transfer service, minus a certain commission payment.


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Phishing occurs when fraudsters spam the Internet with an email claiming to be from a reputable financial institution or e-commerce site. The email message tries to make you click on a link and update your personal profile or carry out some transaction. The link takes you to a fake website designed to look like the real thing, however, any personal or financial information entered will be sent directly to the scammer.

privacy policies

We are required to publish a Privacy Policy to provide you with details on how we keep information private, how the information is shared and why it's collected. Our Privacy Policy explains how you can request removal of your name from promotional mailing lists.


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Every day, people throughout the UK are falling victim to scams of one kind or another. It could be an unexpected prize draw or lottery win, or a chance to invest in an exciting new money-making or investment programme. But remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

secure sessions

When you log in to Internet Banking you are said to be in a "secure session". SSL technology is used within your Internet Banking session to encrypt information before it leaves your computer, this makes sure that no one else can read it. Depending on your browser settings, a pop-up window may appear to notify you that you will be entering a secure page.


Secure Socket Layer or SSL (represented by a yellow padlock at the bottom of your browser) proves that the website is from who it says it’s from. It also provides an encrypted message between your web browser and a web server. SSL helps to prevent sensitive information (e.g. credit card numbers, account balances and other personal data) sent over the Internet being read by others.

security vulnerbilities

Security holes/bugs are faults, defects or programming errors. These may be exploited by unauthorised users to access computer networks or web servers from the Internet. As these vulnerabilities become known, software publishers develop 'patches', 'fixes' or 'updates' that you can download to fix the problems.

session timeouts

These are automatic disconnections, for security reasons, from any secure session after a period of server inactivity. It may occur even if you are typing something into a page or data field, the event being triggered by no communications to our servers, rather than by keyboard or mouse inactivity. All our internet banking services have this protection.

shoulder surfing

Shoulder Surfing is when someone looks over a user's shoulder to gain personal information. This is one of the easiest ways of obtaining a password and can be done wherever passwords, PIN's or other ID codes are used.


This is when your card has been copied at a cash machine or pay counter. Make sure you never let your cards out of your sight, especially in bars, restaurants and petrol stations.


Unwanted emails offering products and services of dubious benefit are often called Spam. Various types of anti-spam software are available, but the first line of defence may be your own Internet Service Provider, many of whom offer spam filtering services.


These are programs/files that may already exist on your PC that arrive as hidden components of "free" programs. They monitor web usage and report back to bona-fide companies who may then sell the aggregated statistics. They are relatively benign but in their more extreme forms can include keystroke logging and virtual snooping on all your PC activity. Users can download free anti-spyware.



Trojans or a Trojan horse is a type of computer virus, which can be installed on your computer without you realising. Trojans are sometimes capable of installing a "keystroke logger", which captures all of the keys you press on your computer keyboard.


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A computer program designed to replicate itself by copying itself into other programs stored in a computer. Viruses are now mainly spread by emails and by file sharing services. New viruses are discovered on a daily basis.



Similar to viruses in that they are designed to interfere with the computers they infect. They don’t attach themselves to files or other programs but spread automatically across networks of computers.


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The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (No.121885). The Co-operative Bank, Platform, smile and Britannia are trading names of The Co-operative Bank p.l.c., P.O. Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester M60 4EP. Registered in England and Wales No.990937. Credit facilities are provided by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. and are subject to status and our lending policy. The Bank reserves the right to decline any application for an account or credit facility. The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. subscribes to the Standards of Lending Practice which are monitored by the Lending Standards Board.