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Lack of online security is a growing problem
Users of the latest computer gadgets are leaving themselves open to online fraud by logging onto their bank accounts using public Wi-Fi, according to new research released today.
To mark the start of Identity Fraud Prevention Month, new figures have been released that show how little care some people take keeping their personal information secret. It shows young people are more likely to put themselves at risk by giving away too much personal information to strangers through social network sites like Facebook.
Last year there were 123,589 victims of identity fraud with the average financial loss per victim being £1,100.
The research by global information company Experian show that many people do not realise the dangers giving out private information, like giving a phone number to an attractive stranger or accepting a friend request from someone you don’t know on Facebook.
And with the increase of public Wi-Fi networks, such as in pubs and restaurants, and even recently in public spaces like Bradford’s City Park, the danger of online fraud is greater than ever.
The company says that the number of online fraud cases is rising year on year, and in the past 12 months has investigated 18,946 incidents for 11,871 customers.
The new figures show that fewer than 40 per cent of people have a password lock on all their mobile phone devices, and 40 per cent of those that do say they have freely given it to someone else.
A third do not have anti virus software on their computers, almost a fifth have left e-mails logged in. A similar number have clicked ‘remember me’ when logging into a site for the first time, and almost one in ten admit that everyone can view their social media account, which can contain details like date of birth and address, as they have no privacy settings in place.
More than half of people have answered a call from an unknown number, a sixth have given out their mobile number to someone they have just met on a night out and almost a sixth accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone they don’t know. The percentage rose to almost a quarter (22 per cent) among 25 to 35-year-olds and almost a third (29 per cent) among 16 to 24-year-olds.
One of the most worrying figures for experts is that one in ten people have admitted to logging onto their bank account or other equally sensitive personal account using public Wi-Fi, which does not carry the same protections as private Wi-Fi.
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