The most prolific users of mobile and social technology, making up 7.7 percent of the UK population, accounted for 23 percent of all ID fraud victims in 2015.
New research from Experian discovered that this group saw the biggest increase in ID theft, rising by 16.7 percent over the last year, which suggests a lack of protection against identity theft.
The next biggest rise in identity theft came from older and retired households mostly living in rural communities and having little interest in technology and slower broadband. This group makes up 1.6 percent of the UK population, with a rise in fraud of 15.4 percent year-on-year.
“It is vital that those embracing technology also embrace protecting themselves online. Using the latest device doesn't necessarily mean full protection and being complacent about the risk of ID theft makes for a tempting target for ID fraudsters,” said Nick Mothershaw, fraud expert at Experian.
Experian suggests people take the following steps against fraud:
- Have unique, secure passwords for each online account with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
- Keep up-to-date with the latest antivirus and newest versions of apps on all devices
- Be cautious about the information you post on social media such as email address, date of birth and family pet names, especially if they're used as passwords. Also think twice before adding someone you don't know to your network.
- Lock your device with a passcode or a gesture to prevent access
- Be wary of unexpected, irrelevant mail as it could be a sign of ID fraud, particularly mail outside of the usual purchasing sphere
- Check your credit report to see if credit has been applied for under false pretences
“This is yet another reminder for those of us who spend a significant amount of time online, that we can't become complacent when it comes to our online habits. We all need to practice good password management, and be extra rigorous with our social media information. The little bits of data, effectively electronic cookie crumbs, that we leave around in our day to day interactions online, are very useful to those with ill intent,” said Robert Capps, VP of business development at NuData Security in emailed comments to SCmagazineUK.com.
“Eventually there will be widespread adoption of better authentication tools that companies can use to determine if it's really you logging in. Meanwhile, make sure you have adjusted your social media privacy settings and only accept connections from those you personally know.”