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identity fraud Katy

identity fraud Katy Worobec, UK Finance: if your identity is stolen, you may have difficulty getting financial products. Barry Scott, Centrify: we need to get away from this mentality of sharing everything with everyone. So, how exactly do you protect yourself against this potential avalanche of invasive techniques? UK Finance has come up with several security tips designed to keep people and organisations safe: Regularly get a copy of your personal credit file from a credit reference agency to see if it includes any entries you do not recognise Royal Mail offers a redirection service to help prevent identity fraud when you move house. Consider asking Royal Mail to redirect any post from your old address to your new one for at least a year. You will have to pay a charge for this service. If you move, also tell your bank, credit-card company and all other organisations that you deal with, as soon as possible. To check that your personal details are secure, get a copy of your credit file two to three months after moving. Always be careful if other people have access to your post. Contact Royal Mail if you think your post is being stolen. Check whether a mail redirection order has been made in your name without your knowledge. Cancel any lost or stolen credit or debit cards at once. Keep a note of emergency numbers you should call. Keep your personal information secure when using your card over the phone, on the internet or in shops by making sure other people cannot overhear you or see your personal information. Look after your personal documents Keep your personal documents in a safe place, preferably in a lockable drawer or cabinet at home. If your passport, driving licence, cards or other personal documents have been lost or stolen, immediately contact the organisation that issued it. Don't casually throw away documents such as bills, receipts, bank statements or even unwanted post in your name. Destroy all unwanted documents. COMPROMISED COMPUTERS While many people associate identity theft with having a wallet or purse stolen, Webroot points to how compromised computers are fast becoming the most likely way that your identity can be stolen - and that spyware is often at the root of this malicious activity. Basically, spyware travels over the Internet and infects your computer. "You can encounter spyware and other forms of malware in many ways," warns Webroot, including: Downloading files or software Opening email attachments or clicking on pop-ups Visiting devious Web sites Operating silently, spyware collects your information. "Without your knowledge, spyware runs in the background while it records your Internet browsing habits and keystrokes, monitors the programs you use and collects your personal information, which can lead to credit card fraud and online identity theft. UTERS "Spyware uses your Internet connection to transmit your information to identity thieves," it adds. "While your computer is connected to the Internet, spyware quietly transmits your personal information, which can include all of those aspects mentioned earlier, including credit card, bank account and social security numbers, usernames and passwords, address books, including email addresses. "The best identity theft protection begins by avoiding spyware infection in the first place. Products like Webroot Spy Sweeper guard against spyware entering your computer, and prevent it from slowing your PC through damage to your files and programs. A good antispyware program searches every place on your PC where spyware can hide and removes every trace to boost your PC performance." 26 computing security July/August 2017 @CSMagAndAwards www.computingsecurity.co.uk