How to keep your personal details safe

Expert advice for parents on how to stop criminals accessing your bank account and personal details


The recent loss of millions of personal details from Child Benefit claimants has put many families under pressure from Identity Fraud.  Although the banks and building societies are reporting that no criminal activity has yet been detected, it must surely only be a matter of time. Online security company Symantec have put together a checklist of things you can do to help stop criminals getting access to your accounts:

  • Monitor your bank and credit card statements and alert your bank immediately if you see a transaction in your account that you did not authorise
  • Reset your passwords and pin numbers if you chose a child’s name or date of birth
  • On the Internet, don’t give away personal details or credit card details to unsecured sites. Always look for  the padlock symbol in the bottom of your Internet browser screen and for https:// in the URL address of the website you are visiting
  • Be careful how much personal information you disclose on social networking sites. Avoid giving out your email address, mobile phone number and other sensitive information which cyber criminals could use to clone your identity online
  • Do not click on URL links in emails or instant messages (IMs) from unknown or suspicious sources, especially not those requesting you to verify personal information to a bank or retailer. These are phishing attempts
  • Install a solid Internet security software suite to protect you from hackers, viruses and spyware. Always select a product that includes identity protection features to verify the websites you visit
  • Watch out for unexpected emails particularly those purporting to be from HMRC or government agencies requesting you verify personal details. These are phishing attempts
  • Be alert and keep an eye on your personal information so despite the public airing of personal data, you remain secure. These simple precautions will help you keep safe from identity fraudsters.

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