What is it? Once criminals have enough of your personal details, they can apply for credit in your name and run up debts without you knowing. Your full name, date of birth, current address and national insurance number, and the passwords and PINs to your bank accounts are among the things they are hoping to get hold of.
Are your passwords really protecting you? For the vast majority of account takeovers, the fraudster will need to have gained specific information about you, such as your online log in and password.
On average, Brits have 19 online accounts each, with an average of seven different passwords. However, one in 10 of us never changes their online passwords and one in 20 uses the same passwords for all of their online accounts, many of which are inactive (social networks (26%), email (18%), retail accounts (21%) yet still potentially accessible to fraudsters.*
Take a look at our tips below to make sure that your passwords are working to protect your ID.
We spend much of our lives online, but it’s important that this doesn’t give us a false sense of security when we go online to shop, as so many of us now do. There are a number of simple things we can all do to help avoid becoming a victim to identity theft.
- Be careful where you click – It’s best to use websites that you know and trust. Always look for a security padlock icon in the top left hand corner of a page before you register financial or personal information on a website. If an online deal sounds too good to be true, it quite probably is.
The need for parents to talk to their children about internet safety is more important than ever, with so many children now well-versed in using tablets and smartphones.
In many cases, by the time they are teenagers they may know more about online apps, games, social media networks and downloads than you do – but they may not be savvy enough to know how to protect themselves from online threats.
So it’s vital to educate children in the skills needed to respond to online situations they may encounter such as cyberbullying, phishing and inappropriate content or communication.
Wonga has recently announced it is cancelling loans owed by a number of customers following a review of its lending criteria. Can you tell me what will happen to these people’s credit reports and when, and how this will affect their future credit ratings? Thanks.
“We help customers who are in difficult circumstances”
This week (6-10 October) is National Customer Service Week, so I visited Experian’s award-winning contact centre in Nottingham to find out more about what they do and how they do it.
Experian’s contact centre recently won the ‘Medium Size European Call Centre of the Year’ award at the 2014 European Call Centre and Customer Services Awards, I met some members of the team, and found they were dedicated to customer support and satisfaction – whether assisting customers with credit worries, victims of fraud, or just giving helpful advice.
Married life shouldn’t really have to start with debts being paid off, but with the cost of the average wedding reputed to be anything up to £18,000, wedding costs can often be higher than you think – and a potential hit to your credit rating.