Fraud and Digital Secruity
This page deals with the actions you can take to protect your security online. If you have suffered internet fraude, then contact Action Fraud - click their logo above
The May 2017 issue of Which magazine had some useful advice on minimising the risk of fraud and these are summarised below.
|Choose and protect your passwords||Use different passwords to access important sites otherwise if someone learns your password to one, they will be able to gain access to other sites posing as you.
Make the passwords at least eight characters long and complicate them by using upper and lower case, substituting numbers for some of the letters and adding symbols. For example, rather than pikestaff, use $P1k35taFFF@.
|Take your name off the Open Register and 192.com||The information available on the elecoral register is enough in itself to enable some frauds. To remove your name, start the process at gov.uk.
You can request your removal from the records at 192.com here.
|Use antivirus software||Whatever computer you use, it is a good idea to use antivirus protection and to keep it up-to-date. Some programs are free and Which mentions Sophos Home.|
|Social media||Take care over the information you share over social media. Go into the Settings and limit the privacy options and (not mentioned in Which) consider giving a wrong birthday.|
|Credit reports||Check your credit status at least once per year, both to make sure there aren't any errors and to see whether any fraudulent applications have been made in you name. There are three credit reference agancies, Callcredit, Equifax and Experian. They will all provide a one-off report for £2 - make sure that you do not sign up for a billed monthly service by mistake. There are also associated online services which are free (at the time of writing) such as Clearscore and Noddle.|
|Public wifi||This can be used for casual internet activities but never use it for banking or purchases and never enter personal details.|
|Bogus web sites||Beware of sites pretending to be official or well-known commercial sites. Many look quite convincing at first site, so check that the web address is correct and look out for spelling mistakes.|
|Phishing emails and texts||Where banks and any other commercial organisations are concerned, take care before clicking any links or replying. Check the email address and again look for spelling and grammatical errors.|
|Scam phone calls||Do not give any personal details over the phone. If, for example you get a call from your bank, insist on calling them back using the phone number from your debit card or that you find yourself on their web site.|