Over a third (34 per cent) of Brits are worried about falling victim to fraud, according to new research released today.
The poll also found that 12 per cent of UK adults (5.9m people) have already been a victim of a financial fraud, while one in 10 said that at least one of their online accounts has been hacked.
- 66 per cent admitted to sharing personal information on social media – such as birthdates, anniversaries and names – which are used to create passwords and PINs;
- Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) think they need to get their passwords and PINs better organised;
- 12 per cent said they didn’t think their online passwords are strong enough;
- Only 29 per cent created strong passwords containing a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
Here are Gocompare.com Money’s tips on reducing the risk of becoming a victim of fraud:
1. Protect your personal information and account numbers:
Never provide debit or credit card numbers or PINs or other personal information in response to an unsolicited email, text, online or telephone request. Genuine organisations including banks and card providers never request information in this way.
When you receive a new payment card, always sign the back. Never let your card or card details out of sight when making a transaction. Protect your personal information on social media using privacy settings, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Access your online financial accounts by typing the web address into your browser. Shred documents containing personal or financial information you no longer need. Always PIN-protect smartphones and other mobile devices.
2. Protect your passwords and PINs, keep them strong and keep them secret:
Choose strong PINs and passwords. Don’t use obvious or easy to guess numbers (e.g. birthdates, anniversary, or consecutive, ascending or descending number sequences). Strong, hard to crack passwords contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Memorise your passwords and PINs – don’t write them down or disclose them to anyone else. Don’t use the same password and PIN for all your accounts and payment cards. And, don’t use the same passwords for social media sites and online banking.
3. Online safety measures:
Regularly update your computer’s firewall or antivirus software. When shopping online, always look for secure transaction symbols. The web address should start ‘https’ and the page should display the secure payment ‘lock’ logo. If possible, always shop or bank online from your personal computer. Always log-off from a site once you’ve completed a transaction. Additionally, block any unauthorised entry that could steal information and all types of hacking attempts by getting the most reliable antivirus software (read reviews on Antivirus.best.)
4. Regularly review financial statements:
Check credit card and bank statements on a regular basis and look out for unusual or unauthorised transactions. Contact your provider immediately if you suspect fraud. Note when you should be receiving a new payment card. If it doesn’t arrive when you expect it, contact the card provider as soon as possible.
5. Be suspicious of unsolicited contact:
Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails or texts claiming to be from companies or organisations connected with your finances, requesting personal details. Never reply to a suspicious email, click on links or ring a number within the message. Use a different phone line to ring out if you’ve received a suspected vishing call.