Your identity is yours. Let's keep it that way

Your identity proves you really are you - until it's stolen.

Posted on 7 August 2018

Your identity is one of your most precious possessions. Apart from defining you as an individual, it also proves that you really are you. As well as needing it for everyday tasks like shopping online, social networking, applying for phone contracts, bank accounts and other finance and obtaining official documents such as driver's licences or passports.

When a criminal steals your identity, they can claim that they really are you too and do all of these things in your name. They can also sell on your identity to other criminals, and even commit criminal acts in your name.

Identity theft can be carried out online, physically using printed documents or a combination of the two.

We’ve teamed up with Get Safe Online to help you protect your identity:

  • Never share account information with friends, family or other people.
  • Be careful about the information you share on social media, such as date of birth and family/pets' names you also use in your passwords. Never post images of your passport, driver’s licence, NI number or other confidential items.
  • Never divulge private information data in response to an email, text, letter, phone call or web form unless you’re certain that the request is authentic. Call to check on the number you know to be correct.
  • Have up-to-date security software/apps running on your computer and mobile devices. Update software and apps when prompted.
  • Choose strong passwords and keep them safe. Don’t use one password for more than one account.
  • Take care when using public wifi hotspots: your information may not be secure so use your data allowance instead.
  • Always beware of people looking over your shoulder when you’re entering private information on a computer, mobile device or ATM.
  • Arrange for paperless bills and statements instead of printed ones.
  • File sensitive documents securely, and shred those you no longer need – preferably with a cross-cut shredder.
  • Get regular credit reports to check if anybody has taken out finance in your name.

If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, report it to Action Fraud or tel: 0300 123 2040

For more information, visit Get Safe Online, where you can find comprehensive, expert, easy-to-follow advice.