There are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself against online fraud. Here, real-life victim of fraud Chris tells us his story, and Hannah from Experian explains how we were able to help him. She also explains what steps all of us can take to help protect ourselves from online fraud.
Experian are spending 100 days following the fortunes of three people with hopes of achieving their dreams this year. First we met singer-songwriter Emma Ballantine, now we’d like to introduce Alan O’Sullivan.
Alan gave up his job to pursue his lifelong dream of writing his first novel, and this is his story. I spoke to him to find out more about his 100 days challenge and what’s been the driving force behind it.
While most of us are getting better at protecting our personal information online, the amount of illegally traded information online is going up and up – as we discussed last night (20 Oct) on LBC’s Money Hour show.
An independent study commissioned by Experian has found that more than 110 million pieces of data have been bought and sold by criminals so far in 2014, an increase of 40% from last year alone and 300% on the total amount traded in 2012.*
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.