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In August this year, research revealed that data breaches driven by identity theft have been costing the UK nearly £4 billion every year since 2013. With the value of personal data at a premium, and more accessible than ever, this worrying trend is only going to continue.
Where society evolves, crime follows, and the growth in Cybercrime-as-a-service (CaaS) is perhaps an inevitable consequence of the ease at which criminals can find, purchase or ransom personal data and obtain sophisticated fraud products online.
The difficulty in tackling this type of insidious online fraud is that the perpetrators are largely unknown, and often undetectable, meaning that by the time a person knows their ID has been stolen, it’s too late.
However, there are several practical steps people can take to protect their identity from cyber-criminals.
Outsmarting the smartphone fraudsters
According to research conducted by digital identity specialists, GBG, nearly 1 in 10 smartphone users in the UK (9%) have been victim of identity fraud in the past twelve months (as at March 2022). With most of the population now owning a smartphone of some kind, we’re carrying a portal to cybercriminals, right in our pockets.
Phishing attacks via smartphone are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with WhatsApp frequently acting as the hunting ground for cyber criminals, there are a few ways to identify a potentially dangerous WhatsApp message. Look out for:
Outside of WhatsApp there are some other simple tactics you can deploy to keep your data safe on your phone:
Avoiding unsolicited click tricks
Online identity theft isn’t a new phenomenon, but fraudsters don’t go away when their tricks and techniques are exposed, they merely evolve ever-more sophisticated methods of stealing people’s data. Computers can be targeted by fraudsters without us knowing, but there are some easy ways to shore up your cyber defences:
Most banks now have online banking options, convenient for us to bank and purchase on the go, but even more convenient for fraudsters. Protect your identity, and hard-earned money, by paying attention to the following tips:
Though these measures can help you to avoid falling victim to identity fraud, they are not exhaustive. Our Personal Cyber and ID Fraud Insurance offers specialist legal advice and assistance to customers who suffer a cyber attack or are subject to ID fraud.
James Waddy, Head of Partnerships & Development, Arc Legal Group
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