Clicknet FAQs

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Call us on 0800 1070732 or email chat@clickenergyni.com for more details or check out our broadband tariff here

Broadband FAQs

I already have broadband how do I switch?
All you need to do is choose a package and sign up.  We'll contact your current provider to arrange the transfer for you.

Can I switch to ClickNet from a cable provider?
Yes, you can, but you'll need to contact them to cancel any services that you no longer require.

Can I use the modem/router I already have?
We strongly advise taking one of the routers we supply, unless you're an experienced Internet user.

When you sign up to ClickNet broadband you can choose to take a wireless router.  If you'd rather use your own, make sure you check it is compatible as many providers lock routers to their network so you may not be able to use it.

The following questions should help you decide:

Standard Broadband

  • Does your router say ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+ in its description? (You may want to search for the model name if you don't have details to hand)

  • Have you bought your router from a high street/online retailer?

Fibre Broadband

  • Does your router say VDSL2 Fibre in its product description? (You may want to search for the model name if you don't have details to hand)

  • Have you bought your router from a reputable high street/online retailer?

If you answered Yes to both questions, it's likely that your router is compatible with our service. If you answered No, we'd advise you to take our router to be on the safe side.

Should you find that your router isn't compatible once your broadband service is up and running, call us on 0800 1070732.

Should I cancel my current broadband service?
If you currently have broadband - you'll need an active service to switch to ClickNet. If you cancel your broadband account with your current provider your move will be delayed.

If you currently have cable - you can keep your cable service connected and use this until your broadband service is activated.

Once we've confirmed your service has been switched to us, check that your old provider has cancelled your service. This should stop any unnecessary payments being made.

How fast will my broadband be?
You'll get the fastest speed that your telephone line can reliably support. Select the service you're interested in and click 'start your order' to get a speed estimate. Speeds are available as follows:

  • Up to 38Mbps or Up to 76Mbps for Fibre (FTTC) enabled areas depending on the package you choose

  • Up to 17Mbps for ADSL2+ enabled areas

  • Up to 7Mbps service in other areas

Your speed will be presented as a range of values in megabits per second (Mbps). The actual speed you get will usually be within these values and may vary depending on line conditions. If you find that your speed is much slower than the lowest estimated value you should call us on 0800 1070732 and we'll work with you to get the best possible speed for your line.

I use the Internet for more than just web browsing and email. What speeds can I expect?
Check our Broadband download speeds article.

What equipment will I need? You'll need:

  • An active BT compatible landline

  • A compatible router

  • One microfilter per active phone socket

  • An Internet capable computer

All packages can be ordered with a wireless router, or you can use your own. We strongly advise taking one of our routers, unless you're an experienced Internet user. Some routers from other providers may be locked to prevent them from working with other services.

Your computer needs:

  • An Internet browser

  • A compatible connection port, either:

    • An Ethernet port

    • Wireless 802.11 (B, G or N)

For support with your connection you'll need:

  • PC - Windows XP and above

  • MAC - OS X 10.0 and above

Can I connect more than one computer?
Yes, if you have a router that supports this. Our wireless routers allow multiple connections using wireless and up to four computers via Ethernet.

What broadband packages are available in my area?
To find out, go to our homepage and click 'Check Availability' on the product you're interested in. We'll ask you to enter your telephone number and postcode to start off with. When you do this we can then tell you:

  • An estimated broadband download speed

  • Available products and their costs

How much does activation cost?
We don’t charge an activation fee.

Fibre FAQs

What is ClickNet Fibre?
It's our fibre optic broadband service, offering superfast download speeds of up to 76Mbps.

The actual speed you'll get depends on the package you choose, the quality of your phone line and your home wiring.

How does it work?
ClickNet Fibre uses technology known as 'Fibre To The Cabinet' (or FTTC) which connects telephone exchanges to street cabinets using fibre optic links.

The faster network can then be used to deliver more bandwidth-hungry broadband services.

What does it mean for me?
Much faster speeds, making it more suitable for sharing Internet access in your household. Unlike standard broadband, the distance from your local telephone exchange doesn't determine the speed you can get.

With fibre optic broadband, the distance from your nearest green street cabinet and the quality of the line between the cabinet and your property determine your speed.

Will speeds go up and down?
Yes, fibre broadband uses the same technology (Dynamic Line Management) as standard broadband to give you the best possible service.

You'll probably see your speed vary over the first 10 days, as the broadband system runs tests to find the best speed for your service. This can cause your speeds to go up and down. You may even get disconnected a few times. Don't worry, this doesn't mean there's a problem, so please bear with it.

Who can get it?
Our fibre broadband service is available to anyone in a fibre-enabled area.

If you're a new customer, choose the product you're interested in and select 'start your order' and we'll let you know if it's available.

Fibre availability: How can I find out if it's available in my area?

Go to our www.XXXXXX.  Enter your landline phone and/or address details and we can let you know about fibre availability in your area.

Note: There are some reasons why you may not be able to get ClickNet Fibre, even though you live in a fibre optic broadband enabled area.

  • If you're connected directly to a telephone exchange, rather than via a green cabinet

  • If your line is too far from your nearest green cabinet to support a stable fibre optic broadband service

  • Work hasn't yet been done at your nearest green cabinet

  • Your green cabinet isn't suitable for fibre optic cabling

What does it cost?
For information on pricing go to ClickNet page on our website and choose the product you're interested in.

How much does activation cost?
We don’t charge any activation fees.

How long does it take to set up?
If you're new to broadband your service should be up and running after 5-10 working days. If you're transferring your service from another provider there's a 10 working day minimum period and you'll be able to choose a set up date if you wish. We'll email you as soon as possible to confirm the date your service will start.

Once you've been notified your service is live, setting up your router takes just a few minutes depending on your set up.

Note: On the go live day your broadband and telephone won't work for a short while; this is whilst the engineer is connecting your service at the green cabinet.

What happens on the go live day?
An engineer may carry out work at the telephone exchange and green cabinet.

Once you've been informed your service is ready you'll just need to plug your new fibre router into either the supplied microfilter or directly into your master socket with one of the included yellow Ethernet cables. The setup guide will explain which of these two options is applicable to you.

Can I use my own extension cable(s)?
Yes. Bear in mind however that this will almost certainly reduce your overall broadband speeds.

If you have a master socket with a double socket especially for broadband you can plug your extension into that - you won't need to use a microfilter at all in this case.

If you have a master socket with only one socket which is shared with phone and broadband, you'll need to use a microfilter and plug your extension into that. Never filter at both ends of your extension lead!

Best broadband speeds are always obtained by plugging your router directly into your master socket.

Will I need a new router?
Yes. A wireless fibre router is available with all fibre packages. We'll make sure it arrives before or on your go live day.

We strongly advise taking one of the routers we supply, unless you're an experienced Internet user. If you'd rather use your own, make sure you check it is compatible.

Leaving Clicknet

We're sorry you're thinking of leaving us. If there's anything wrong with your service, please give us a ring on 0800 1070732. We might be able to make things better for you.

Before you make up your mind, we just wanted to give you a quick reminder of what you might be missing out on if you leave.

Special offers
Our prices are always affordable, but we often have special offers too. If you'd like to speak with us about what we could offer, please call us on 0800 1070732 to find out about our latest broadband offers.

A choice of packages
If you feel like your broadband package isn't working out for you anymore, check our other options. There might be something you prefer the sound of. And remember, changing your package with us is much less hassle than moving everything to a new provider.

It won't cost extra if you stay
If you're in a broadband contract with us, bear in mind that you might need to pay to cancel this service. So, you might want to check what you'll need to pay before you decide to move your broadband. To find out more about cancelling your broadband account, take a look at our ClickNet broadband cancellation policy.

Also, if you’ve got a discount or another kind of benefit because you use more than one of our services, you might lose that discount or benefit when you leave.

You can always get in touch
If you’ve got any questions about your broadband account, give us a call on 0800 1070732.

We’re Northern Ireland based, and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Speed FAQs

What speed can I get?
When you sign up with us, move home/office, or change your package, we'll give you an estimate of the speed you should be getting. For example, we might say you could get '16 to 18Mbps'. This is an estimate of your 'line speed' or 'sync speed' and the actual speed you get should fall somewhere within this range. It's what your broadband and router is capable of if everything's working at its best.

Line speed can change over time and you may find that it can change each time you re-boot your router. The distance from your home to the exchange or cabinet will affect it, and temporary factors like severe weather can degrade the quality of the line.

Your line speed will always be higher than your actual ('throughput') broadband speed, because it's far less liable to signal interference than the wireless connection within your home. This is why if you run a speed test over Wi-Fi you'll find that the speed test results will always be less than your line speed.

You can find out exactly what your line speed is by logging into your router and looking for your 'sync rate'. How you do this will vary, depending on your router. Our help pages show you how to log into your router and check your connection status and sync rate.

You can't improve your speeds if they are within your estimates.

What is line speed and throughput speed?
Line speed
Your line speed, also known as your sync speed, is the maximum speed at which your router can connect to the Internet. You can check your line speed by logging into your router and looking for your 'sync rate'. How to do this will vary depending on your router. Our help pages show you how to log into your router and check your connection status and sync rate.

Line speed can change over time and you may find that it can change each time you reboot your router. The distance from your home to the exchange or cabinet will affect it, and temporary factors like severe weather can degrade the quality of the line.

Your line speed will always be higher than your actual (throughput) broadband speed, because it's far less liable to signal interference than the wireless connection within your home.

Throughput speed
Whereas your line speed is a measure of how well your line can carry data to your router, the actual speed you see when you're online depends on many other factors. Most speed checkers will show the speed at which data is downloaded to your PC, laptop, tablet or phone – this is known as your throughput speed.

Throughput speed will always be slower than your line speed. It can be affected by different things, like the website you're on, your Wi-Fi connection, if you're online at a busy time, how many people are sharing your connection, and the quality of your telephone line.

A quick and easy way to check your throughput speed is to go to mybroadbandspeed.co.uk and follow the steps to run a few tests. If the results are slower than the estimate we gave you when you first signed up, have a look at our problem-solving tips.

You can also run a more detailed speed test at BT Wholesale.

What’s the difference between standard and fibre broadband speeds?
Standard broadband speed
You can get up to 17Mbps, but the actual speed you'll get is affected by:

how far you are from the telephone exchange - the further away you are, the slower it'll be

the quality of your phone line - if it's in poor condition, it won't be as fast

the type of broadband available where you live - in some places, BT's lines don't support speeds of up to 17Mbps, so you might only be able to get speeds of up to 7.5Mbps.

Fibre broadband speed

  • You can get up to 76Mb, but the actual speed you'll get is affected by:
  • how far you are from the green cabinet - the further away you are, the slower it'll be
  • the quality of your phone line - if it's in poor condition, it won't be as fast
  • the package you chose - Up to 38Mbps packages are available and, depending on your line speed estimate, you might be able to upgrade to Unlimited Fibre Extra which provides speeds of up to 76Mbps.

How fast will my broadband be when I first get it?
When we first set up your broadband, we won't know exactly how fast it'll be. It'll take a little while to get to a more settled speed. Here's what you can expect.

The first ten days
To find out your eventual speed, we'll run some tests from your telephone exchange. Because of that, the speed will go up and down and you might get disconnected a few times. But don't worry, that doesn't mean there's a problem; it just means we're trying to find the best balance between speed and reliability for you.

After ten days
Your broadband will settle into a speed close to the estimate we gave when you signed up. Small changes are normal and nothing to worry about. If there's a problem affecting your connection, the speed will slow down for a while to give you the most reliable service possible.

What sort of things can slow down my broadband?
Broadband faults
Any fault will slow down your broadband, especially if it keeps disconnecting because of it. When that happens, it can take up to three days before it goes back to normal while we test and adjust your connection to find the best, most reliable speed.

Faults on the line
If there's a fault on the phone line, you may have trouble connecting to the Internet. Usually, when the phone line is fixed, your connection will go back to normal. But because that's happened, the speed will drop for the next few days while we sort out your connection again.

Using Wi-Fi
If you're online using Wi-Fi, several things can slow down your connection. These include things like how far away you are from your router, whether you have thick brick walls, or any interference from household appliances. If that's the case, try our tips for getting a better Wi-Fi signal.

Household appliances
Household appliances like cordless phones, baby monitors and microwaves can cause interference, especially to Wi-Fi, and slow your speed down.

Not using microfilters
A micro-filter is a device that has a plug and two sockets. If you don't have two sockets on your master socket you'll need a filter on every phone socket that you're using in your home. You plug it into your phone socket in the wall and then plug your broadband and phone cables into it. It stops the two signals interfering with each other.

Note: If you do have a modern 2-socket faceplate with a socket marked ‘Broadband’ or ‘ADSL’ you mustn’t use a separate microfilter – just plug your router directly into that already-filtered socket.

Bad weather
Heavy rain and thunderstorms can play havoc with your broadband. They can even damage your equipment permanently. If there's a really bad storm, it's a good idea to unplug your broadband router until it's over.

Your computer
If you've got an old computer (more than three years old), it might be slower because it's having trouble running the latest software and programs; so when you go online, it seems as if it's your broadband that's slow. Older laptops may also have slower Wi-Fi because of the network cards in them.

Viruses also slow everything down, so make sure your computers are protected against them.

Busy times
Even though our network won't slow down noticeably at peak times, some specific websites or downloads might.

How can I make sure I’m getting the fastest speed possible?
There are some things you can do to help it be as fast as possible.

Leave your router switched on
It's best to leave it on, even at night. When you switch it off and on a lot, it makes it look like your line's unstable. When that happens, your telephone exchange will temporarily make your speed lower because it thinks your line can't cope with anything higher.

Check your Wi-Fi signal
Using Wi-Fi? If you've got a lot of devices connected at the same time, it'll slow down your connection. If you're using a desktop or laptop, try connecting it to your router with an Ethernet cable.

Use microfilters
A microfilter is a device with two sockets that you plug into your phone socket in the wall. It'll stop your broadband and phone line from interfering with each other. If you don't use one, your broadband could be slower, not work at all, or you might hear a high-pitched noise when you make phone calls.

You need a filter on every phone socket that you're using in your home (unless your master socket has two sockets with one dedicated to broadband already). So, as well as the phone socket you use for your broadband, make sure you use a microfilter in any other phone sockets that are used for:

  • phones
  • set-top boxes
  • burglar alarms
  • fax machines
  • Try not to use phone extension cables
  • Extension cables can cause interference on the line, which slows down your broadband. It's better to use Wi-Fi if your router and computer are too far away from each other to connect with a cable. If you do need to use a phone extension cable, make sure it's new, high-quality and as short as possible.

Use the master socket
This is the best place to plug in your router. You'll usually find it where your phone line comes into your home.

Some homes don't have master sockets. In that case, use the one closest to where your phone line comes into your home. Have a look at our video if you'd like to find out more.

What if I am unhappy with the speed you are providing?
If we cannot provide a speed equal to or better than the Minimum Guaranteed Access Line Speed we promised you, you should contact our support team and we'll work with you to try and get the matter resolved. You can see Ofcom's speed code of practice for more information on what this means.

Should our faults team confirm there is nothing that can be done to resolve your fault, you have the right to leave without paying any Early Termination or Cease Fee charges. If you want to do this, you should speak to our Customer Services Team.

We may provide offers but these do not impact your right to leave your contract with us if your line rate remains less than your Minimum Guaranteed Access Line Speed.

Bill payment FAQs

When do I get my bill?
It'll be on the same date every month. That date's based on when your electricity payment is taken.

If you've got Click Energy as well as Click Net, they might have started working on different dates. Your bill starts on the date the first of those services was ready. We'll send you a bill every month for both services from that same date. But don't worry, we'll refund the extra amount you paid. You'll see it on your next bill as a 'pro-rata' charge.

How does my bill work?
For regular payments, like broadband, you in arrears for the month just completed.

Where can I see a breakdown of my bill?

 

How can I pay my bill?
You can pay by Direct Debit, by credit or debit card, (or by cheque if you're a business customer). Here's what you need to know before you decide how you want to pay.

Direct Debit

  • Pay monthly.
  • Best for making sure you never miss a payment.
  • No need to update account details once it's set up.
  • You'll need to make sure you've got enough money in your account when your payment is due.

 

Credit or debit card

  • Pay with Visa, Delta, Electron, MasterCard, Switch, Maestro, Solo.
  • Pay monthly or make one-off payments.
  • You'll need to keep your card details up to date (we'll remind you when it's about to expire).
  • £1.50 transaction charge (automatically added to your bill).

When does the money leave my account?
If you pay by Direct Debit, the money usually leaves your account on the agreed lift date. We'll send you an email to let you know.

If you pay by debit or credit card, the money leaves your account on your invoice date. It might take a few hours for your bank to update your statement.

What do I see on my Bank Statement?
If you're paying by Direct Debit, your reference looks a bit like this: Project Plug Ltd.

If you pay by debit or credit card, your reference is the same as the invoice number on your bill.

Can I change my payment details?
Yes. You can do that by contacting our customer service team.

Can I change my bill date?
Not now, but you'll soon be able to. Watch this space.

I’ve got a debit/credit card and Direct Debit Details saved on my account – which will you use?

We'll use Direct Debit for your monthly payments. If you've only just set up a Direct Debit, it can take about a week before it's ready, so we'll use your card until then. If you've got a Direct Debit set up but you'd like to start paying by card, you'll need to cancel your Direct Debit first.

If you've got a one-off payment to make, we'll use your debit/credit card for that. Paying your bill each month by card means you'll need to pay a £1.50 charge each time. But a one-off payment won't cost you anything extra.

What if there’s a problem with my bill?
If you think you won't be able to pay your bill or the amount you've got to pay is wrong, get in touch with us.

What happens if I miss a payment?
This can happen if your credit or debit card has expired, you haven't got enough money in your account or there's a problem with your Direct Debit.

We'll email or text you to let you know if your payment doesn't go through. When you next go online, we'll take you to a page where you can pay. If you don't pay there and then, we'll remind you again by email or text after five days then again after ten.

If you still haven't paid after 14 days, you'll only be able to use the Internet to see or pay your bill. We'll add a charge for this to your next bill.

If we haven't got your payment after 28 days, this will eventually lead to us closing your account. If you're still in contract, you'll have to pay extra charges for ending your contract early.

How can I pay a bill that’s overdue?
Contact our team and we will let you know the outstanding amount.

Pay the way you usually do, or make a one-off payment with a different card. If you pay with a different card, we'll ask if you'd like to save that new card's details to use again. If you do decide to save that card and pay with it again, we'll add a £1.50 charge for the transaction to your next bill and then every time you pay for as long as you pay by card.

Or

Pay by card or set up a Direct Debit. If your payment is close to being 14 days late, it's best to pay by card rather than your Direct Debit which can take a while to go through.

If your payment is over 14 days late and you can't use your broadband or phone you won't be able to use them again until your late payment has gone through. You'll still be able to call the emergency services.

I’m worried about giving my bank details or card details – is ClickNet secure?
Don't worry, your details are safe with us. We use security systems like Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. When you set up your payment details, these systems keep your card payments password-protected so that no one else can get to them. And whenever we use your details, we protect them by using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection.

About our charges

To find out about all our charges, please see our Price guide. We've also provided a summary here of how and when our charges normally apply:

Getting you up and running

  • To get your services up and running, some setup charges (such as installation or delivery charges) may apply. These will normally be called out in the "Upfront" section.

During your contract

  • For each of the services in your package, we'll charge you a regular monthly fee.
  • You can only pay by direct debit or recurring card payment.  If you miss a payment, we might also add failed payment charges for suspending your service and to cover our costs associated with the failed payment. Further information on what happens if you fail to pay is set out in our About Failed Payments guide.

If you leave

  • If you leave us, a cessation fee may be payable. In addition, if you leave within your minimum term, early termination charges may be payable. Further information can be found at Leaving ClickNet.

Leaving Click Net

We're sorry you're thinking of leaving us. If there's anything wrong with your service, please give us a ring on 0800 1070732. We might be able to make things better for you.

Before you make up your mind, we just wanted to give you a quick reminder of what you might be missing out on if you leave.

Special offers
Our prices are always affordable, but we often have special offers too. If you'd like to speak with us about what we could offer, please call us on 0800 1070732 to find out about our latest broadband offers.

A choice of packages
If you feel like your broadband package isn't working out for you anymore, check our other options. There might be something you prefer the sound of. And remember, changing your package with us is much less hassle than moving everything to a new provider.

It won't cost extra if you stay
If you're in a broadband contract with us, bear in mind that you might need to pay to cancel this service. So, you might want to check what you'll need to pay before you decide to move your broadband. To find out more about cancelling your broadband account, take a look at our ClickNet broadband cancellation policy.

Also, if you’ve got a discount or another kind of benefit because you use more than one of our services, you might lose that discount or benefit when you leave.

You can always get in touch
If you’ve got any questions about your broadband account, give us a call on 0800 1070732.

We’re Northern Ireland based, and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Online safety FAQs

The Internet is great for things like shopping, staying in touch with friends and keeping your finances in check. It can make things so much easier and quicker. And it means you don't have to go out in lousy weather. But even though you aren't venturing outside, you still need to be a bit streetwise.

Doing stuff online increases your chances of falling victim to things like hackers and scams, which can damage your files and steal your personal information or identity. Don't worry though, by following our guide you can be sure that you're doing everything you can to stay safe online.

What are the basics for staying safe online?

  • Follow these simple rules to immediately reduce the risk of falling foul of anything nasty on the Internet.
  • Always keep your software and apps up to date.
  • Don't install any software or apps unless you trust where they've come from.
  • Run regular anti-virus and anti-malware scans on your computer or device.
  • Use passwords that aren't easy for people to guess and don't share them with anyone.
  • Don't connect to a Wi-Fi network that isn't secured.
  • Be very wary of pop-ups that appear on your screen when you're browsing online.
  • Never reply to an email that asks for your password, bank account details or personal information – we'll never ask you for these in an email and neither will your bank.
  • Be suspicious of calls from people who want to access to your computer. If you're in any doubt, hang up and call the company they claim to be, using a number that you've found through one of their official channels.
  • Don't use websites that offer illegal film and music downloads – those downloads might be free, but they often come with malware or viruses.
  • Remember people aren't always who they say they are – it's easy to pretend to be someone else online.
  • Bear in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What security protection should I have?
Prevention is better than cure. So, keep the bad things at bay by making sure your network's secure and your devices are protected.

Anti-virus protection
Get the latest anti-virus software. It'll come included with later versions of Windows (7 and above).

Firewall
All our routers have the firewall enabled by default. If you're using a non-ClickNet router, make sure the firewall's switched on. You can also switch on your broadband firewall.

Some more things you can do
Use an ad-blocker. Some online adverts contain links to malicious software that try to infect your computer.

When banking or shopping, look for the padlock symbol or 'https://' in your browser's address bar. It means you're using a secure connection, so what you're doing isn't being snooped on.

Don't connect things like USB sticks to your computer unless you know and trust where they've come from.

Back up your important files and settings. Then if the worst does happen, you'll be able to get back the things that are important to you.

How do I secure my Wi-Fi network?
Think of your Internet connection like your home. You wouldn't leave your door wide open or the keys on the doorstep. The same goes for your Wi-Fi network.

Here's how to keep it safe from intruders who could steal your data or snoop on your online activities.

  • Change the name of your network and your Wi-Fi password to something you've chosen yourself.
  • Hide your network so it won't appear on anyone else's list when they scan for Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Make sure you're using a secure connection, like WPA2 (Wi-Fi protected access).
  • Be careful about who you give your password to. If your router supports it, you might want to create a separate Wi-Fi network for guest access. You can even set up a separate password for guests using your connection.

 

What are the most secure types of passwords?
Most accounts you have online will be protected by a password. So it's important to choose one that no one can guess and to keep it under wraps.

Here are some tips for making sure your password really will protect your account.

  • Steer clear of family names, your birthday, or your phone number. They're the first things people will guess if they're trying to get into one of your accounts.
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters like @ # $ % ^ &. So instead of 'teaandbiscuitsfortwo' use 'Tea&biscuitsfor2'.
  • Don't use the same password for everything. If you do and someone guesses it, they'll be able to get into all your accounts.
  • Keep your password to yourself and change it if you think someone knows what it is.
  • Never send a password in an email. Remember, we'll never email you about things like that.
  • If you need to write down a password to remember it, use hints rather than the word itself. Or use a password managing system like Lastpass or Keepass to look after it for you.
  • If you're really worried, you can use something called 'multi factor authentication' for a lot of widely-used services like Gmail and Facebook. Similar to online banking security, it means you always need a separate code to log in, which they'll send you on a key fob or in a text message. It means that even if someone knows your password, they can't log in.

 

How can I keep my email account safe?
Emails are part of everyday life now. But that doesn't mean they're always trustworthy.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you're emailing.

  • Never post your email address where everyone can see it, like in a public online forum. Scammers are known to trawl webpages for email addresses.
  • Don't reply to an email claiming you've won a prize for a competition you haven't entered, or from a wealthy person overseas needing your help moving large sums of money. These are always fake, so just delete them.
  • Be wary of 'phishing'. This is when a scammer sends an email pretending to be from a trusted company to cheat you into giving them your personal details. Don't reply, open any attachments or click any links. Just delete it.
  • Even in an email that looks trustworthy, hover over any links to see where they go before you click them. If the website address looks suspicious, don't click on it.
  • If your email program allows it, look for an option to block attached images. Some scammers include tracking images and links in their emails, but they won't work if you have images blocked. Be wary of images and other attachments (a common one is an invoice you haven't paid for) in suspicious-looking emails because they could be viruses.
  • If an obvious spam email has a link to unsubscribe, don't click it. It won't be genuine and clicking it only confirms that your email address is in use.

 

I think I’ve received a fraud email – how do I report it?
Think you've been a victim of Internet crime or want to report a scammer? Then go to Action Fraud UK and follow the steps on their website. Action Fraud UK is for more than just reporting emails. Take a look at their website for more info.

If you've had an email from someone claiming to be ClickNet or Click Energy that you think is fake, you can let us know by forwarding it to abuse@clickenergyni.com. If you've had a suspicious email or call that you want to talk to us about, find out how to report service abuse.

How can I stay safe on social media?
Social media is great for keeping up to date with friends and sharing photos. These days, we're using it more and more. We trust websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with all sorts of information about ourselves. But it's important to know whether you're sharing things with just friends and family or with the whole world.

Here are our tips for being safe and sensible on social media.

  • Remember how easy it is for people to pretend to be someone they're not online. Don't message people unless you know them personally and always ask yourself, 'How sure am I that this person is who they say they are?'
  • Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know. Be wary of anyone claiming to be a friend of a friend. Always check with your mutual friend first.
  • Never give away passwords or private information on social media.
  • Check your privacy settings. Twitter and Instagram make your posts public unless you change your settings. Facebook limits who can see your posts, but it's still good to check exactly what your settings are. Clicking 'View as' lets you see how others see your profile.
  • Think about what you post and who can see it. When you post that you're excited about your holiday, are you actually just telling everyone that your home will be empty for a week? When you mention your party on a public page, are you unintentionally inviting hundreds of people you don't know to come to your home? When you post a photo of your child's first day at school, who exactly can see that photo?
  • Consider what the public information on your profile says about you. For example, many prospective employers will look at your social media accounts before hiring you. Is your public information giving the right impression?

 

How can I make sure my children are safe when they’re online?
It's not unusual for children and teenagers to know more than adults when it comes to using computers and the Internet. But the threat of things like online bullying and grooming is very real. Children don't often realise these dangers.

Here's our advice for keeping them out of harm's way when they're online.

  • There's no substitute for supervision. Take an interest in what your children are doing online, even if you don't understand it at first.
  • Keep the computer in a room where the whole family are, not their bedrooms. Don't allow small children to play on devices with Internet access.
  • Teach your children from a young age that they mustn't give out personal information online. That includes their name, address, school, phone number, or photos of themselves.
  • Children know not to talk to strangers in the street, so make sure they know not to send messages to strangers online either. If someone is bothering them, tell them that they must let you know straightaway.
  • Have set times when your children are allowed to go online and times when they can't. Some routers let you set time limits so that specific devices can't connect to the Internet at certain times. Check your manual for how to do that.
  • Agree with your children what sites they can and can't visit. A lot of websites, like YouTube, have sections designed especially for children.
  • Bookmark or set up easy-to-access shortcuts to the websites you're happy for them to use.
  • Social networks usually have a minimum age limit. Facebook's is 13. If you have a teenager who's using social media, make sure they know how to check their privacy settings.
  • Remember, it's not just computers that can connect to the Internet these days. Your children could be using mobile phones, games consoles and even TVs to get online.

I’d like to know more – where else can I read about online security?
If you are worried about safety when it comes to online purchase, we have created a handy guide on how to tell if a website is safe

There are lots of great websites that give hints, tips and walkthroughs on how to stay safe when using the Internet.

Here are some of our favourites.

  • Get Safe Online – free expert advice
  • Internetmatters.org – information, advice and support to keep children safe online
  • UK Safer Internet Centre – e-safety tips, advice and resources
  • Ni Direct Government Services – general guidance on staying safe online
  • Stay Safe Online – how to protect yourself, your family and your devices

How to tell if a website is safe

There are many clues to identify whether a website is safe before making a purchase. Below are the features to be aware of when performing due diligence on ecommerce websites:

Check for a privacy statement
Look out for a privacy statement on any website you are planning to make a purchase from. A privacy statement detailing how the business collects, uses, and protects sensitive financial information should be readily available from any retailer – so if you're struggling to find one, this could be a bad sign.

Look for an address and phone number
Legitimate retailers almost always have a contact number and physical address visible in the header or footer of the website. If you have any reservations about the legitimacy of a website, copy and paste the address into a search engine to see if the given location is accurate. This is a good indication of a legitimate website, as unreliable sellers will often be online only to avoid detection, or use a fake address.

Does the website accept credit cards?
Credit cards are the safest method of making online purchases, as it's easier for credit card companies to refund any money lost due to fraud. Websites that don't accept credit cards should raise a red flag, as it's often more difficult for fraudulent websites to become certified by credit card companies.

Try to use trusted retailers
If possible, try to buy from retailers you have heard of, especially those with a reputation for customer service. If you're looking for a specialist item that is only available on an independent website, be as diligent as possible before handing over any financial information.

Frequent spelling or grammatical errors in the product descriptions or website copy can be a good indication as to the quality of a website. Websites that appear to be written in broken English should be avoided, as well as websites that don't include unique photographs of the product, the ability to leave reviews, or an advertised returns policy.

Be suspicious of deals that are "too good to be true"
The adage that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is, rings true when it comes to ecommerce safety. Be cautious of any website that appears to be selling well-known brands or designer items for considerably less than the retail price. If you discover a website that stocks popular items for very low prices, there's a risk you're handing over money for fakes or replicas.

Common sense is usually enough to avoid being misled by these pitfalls. We'd also recommend searching for the same item at different retailers to give you an impression of the average price.

Look for a certificate of authentication
Legitimate ecommerce websites will often have a "trust mark" on the footer, header, or checkout pages on the website. These marks are accreditations from Internet security bodies (such as Norton, McAfee, TRUSTe, Trustwave), and should give an indication that this website is trustworthy.

Some fraudulent websites may attempt to deceive users by including similar trust marks on their website. To ensure the logos are legitimate, try clicking on them – if the trust symbols are authentic, you should be taken to another website that explains the accreditation and what it means.

Check for an SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate is also a good indicator of trust and legitimacy on a website. There are two easy methods of determining whether a website has SSL certification. Firstly, an icon of a locked padlock should be present in the URL bar at the top of your web browser. Another method of identifying a website with an SSL Certification is the domain name:

  • Secure websites begin with: https://
  • Unsecured websites begin with: http://

What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (secure sockets layer) is an encryption method that all online retailers who deal with credit or debit card details must have. An SSL encryption stops hackers from accessing your personal or financial information, ensuring your details are secure and safe.

Check out the reviews
While these tips can give you practical visual clues to look out for, reviews and personal accounts from other users are an excellent way of staying safe while shopping online. Websites like Trustpilot can be a useful resource when looking for further information about a website you haven't used before – it's a great place to read reviews and personal experiences concerning a huge variety of Internet retailers.