Protect your data, Protect yourself

What can be done to protect my information? Action Fraud provided a number of these suggestions. Always check what you’re agreeing to when signing up to a new service, and un-tick any boxes giving permission for your data to be sold to third parties.

Develop strong passwords (symbols, upper and lower case letters, numbers) that are different for each account and don’t store them all in one place (such as on your phone).

Never respond to unsolicited emails or phone-calls or click on unknown links, and always report suspected fraud to your bank or card issuer.

If you receive a suspect phone call, check the line is cleared (listen for a dial tone) or use a different phone if possible to call and report it. Your bank or the police would never ask for your pin code or online banking passwords over the phone.

Limit the amount of information available on your public social media profiles, including birthdate and address (Facebook has comprehensive security settings for you to tailor what strangers can see).

Check your credit report regularly for new accounts and changes that you have not carried out. This doesn’t have to cost you, Clearscore and Noddle are both free services, while Experian and Equifax offer free trials. Sign up for alerts so you know anytime anything changes. Install security software on all devices and make sure they are all password protected, including phones and tablets, especially if you do mobile banking.

Brilliant article by James Connington writing for the Telegraph in 2016.

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