Equifax, the ID fraud expert, is urging younger consumers and parents to look after their personal information to keep fraudsters at bay.
This latest advice comes ahead of Safer Internet Day on 11th February 2014, which focuses on advice and support for carers, teachers, children, young people.
“Socialising and shopping online is second nature to most young people and even children, these days, but this familiarity could leave them vulnerable to ID fraud,” warns Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director for Equifax. “Whilst there are many benefits to our digital society, there are also some dangers, which younger consumers may not be aware of. Safer Internet Day is the ideal time to think about these issues and help encourage safer behaviour online.”
Safer Internet Day is coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, a partnership of three leading organisations; Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. The awareness day offers tips and practical advice to young people, teachers and carers on a range of topics, including cyber bullying, privacy settings on social media and keeping personal information safe online. Equifax also believes that the campaign is a great opportunity to make young people aware of the threat of ID fraud and the steps they can take to help protect themselves from this growing crime.
Top Tips for using social network sites from Equifax
- People don’t realise how easy it is for fraudsters to use the personal information available on social networking sites to steal an individual’s identity and open accounts in their name.
- Young people may be targeted by online competitions or deals and discounts, asking for personal information or a mobile number, but this could leave them open to fraudsters.
- If their email address or mobile number gets into the wrong hands, younger consumers could find themselves targeted by phishing scams designed to trick them out of their information and money. It’s important to understand the value of your private information and take precautions to keep ID fraud at bay by only using trusted sites and thinking twice before handing over any information.
- Don’t include information on social networking sites such as your date of birth, pet’s name or your mother’s maiden name that you may use for passwords or PINs
- Use the privacy settings on your profile, to ensure only close friends can view your information
- If you are going on holiday or you will be left in your home alone, don’t announce it online. This could leave you vulnerable to break ins
- Never share with anyone your password or PIN for any accounts.
- Never respond to emails or phone calls where someone is requesting your passwords or PINs