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Keep your data secure online

30 October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the way we work, shop and communicate with others – we’re relying a lot more on technology. This means there are more opportunities for fraudsters and cybercriminals to steal our data and profit from it. 


Recent high-profile data breaches linked to business, fitness and social networking apps and websites pose a huge global cyber threat. Breaches can mean passwords, email addresses and phone numbers being identified and sold for criminal purposes. 

The kind of information that is usually stolen includes: 

  • passwords
  • bank details, credit and debit card information
  • national Insurance number
  • medical information which identifies an individual
  • contact details
  • date of birth
  • address  

What you can do to reduce the risk 

Social media: 

  • deactivate old unused online accounts 
  • check your privacy settings on social media accounts  

Email: 

  • use strong, unique passphrases on email accounts
  • turn on two-factor authentication on sensitive accounts
  • do not use personal email accounts for company business
  • deactivate old unused email accounts
  • unsubscribe from mailing lists – these are digital trails leading back to you

Devices:

  • set a password or PIN use fingerprint recognition so that it can’t be accessed by other people if you lose it
  • delete unnecessary apps and update the rest regularly
  • only download apps from trusted sources and check reviews before downloading
  • check access requested by apps – are they necessary? 

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam or fraud, please report to Action Fraud online or by phone: 0300 123 2040.

You can forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and send text message scams to 7726