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UK Identity Fraud Alert

CPPGroup : 03 August, 2011  (Technical Article)
CPP is providing advice to UK internet users to protect online data in wake of hacking on The Sun newspaper
UK Identity Fraud Alert

Following the claims that hackers have obtained Sun website users’ personal details, CPPGroup Plc (CPP) warns all Britons to be extra vigilant in ensuring the security of their own personal data and monitoring their finances.

Identity fraud is a serious issue that affects millions of people worldwide, and CPP is reminding people that fraudsters benefiting from this data loss could potentially obtain new lines of credit, goods and services using the personal data of The Sun readers.

Sarah Blaney, identity fraud expert from CPP, says: “The Sun website hack follows a series of targeted data breaches that have been taking place with worrying regularity over the past few months. It looks likely that within this lost data there is more than enough highly sensitive personal information for a fraudster to build a profile and commit identity theft.

People need to make sure they are doing everything possible to proactively manage their own identities and act on any suspicious activity that may arise as a result of data breaches such as these.

“It is imperative for UK citizens to secure their personal details and take steps to minimise the risk of identity theft where possible.”

Reduce the chances of falling victim to identity fraud:

CPP top tips to protect your identity:

* Regularly monitor your credit reports to check for any unusual activity that may indicate fraudulent applications for credit in your name

* Install anti-virus protection, which scans for malicious files that give the PC or notebook a virus, and anti-phishing tools, which identify phishing emails and links that trick users into giving away private information

* Consider purchasing an identity theft assistance product. These products typically help people detect, prevent and resolve any incidences of identity fraud, which can be very stressful and debilitating for victims affected by this serious crime

* Think carefully about adding too much personal information on social networking sites including your date of birth, maiden name, place of birth – this information could be used by a fraudster to commit identity fraud using your personal information

* Install an active firewall, which updates and upgrades automatically, preventing hackers from gaining access to a PC or laptop

* Make sure your post is secure and know when to expect your credit card, utility bills and bank statements - if they don't turn up, ring up and ask why

* Keep your personal information safe. If someone asks for your personal details ask yourself why they would need them. This even applies to any online enquiries

* Don't write down PIN numbers, passwords, user names unless you absolutely have to do so, and if you do, keep them very secure and to yourself

* If you are going to throw away post with your personal details shred it first - this even includes junk mail

* If you move house tell your bank, credit card and utility providers. Use the Royal Mail redirection service and consider registering with the mail preference service to prevent mail going to your old address

* If you store valuable documents at home, for example, passports, driving licence and bank statements, keep them hidden and secure. Never take these documents out with you unless you absolutely have to. If you store personal information on your PC, install up-to-date security software

* Remember identity thieves are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity and all they need are a few personal details

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