A staggering four million Brits have reportedly fallen victim to identity theft, according to a recent study into how we protect ourselves online - a 37% increase in the number of resolved fraud cases from 2013.
A survey of 2,000 UK adults, the research by Experian found that 27% had given their full name, while 23% had given their date of birth on a social media site. 20% of those surveyed also kept a digital or paper record of their passwords, and only 39% used different passwords to access different online accounts, suggesting a lack of understanding or complacency when it comes to online security.
When questioned about how they saw online risk, 25% thought that they would never become victims of fraud, while 28% felt there was nothing they could do to protect themselves against identity theft.
Of those who had been affected by a data breach, 46% of those surveyed hadn’t changed their password, even when they had been notified that data may have been lost. Just 30% changed their other passwords once one account had been affected. Only 20% changed their online behaviour as the result of being a victim of fraud.
Peter Turner, Managing Director, Experian Consumer Services UK&I commented on the findings:
“While we enjoy all the web has to offer, it’s essential we’re vigilant in protecting our online identities, too. Exercising caution when sharing your information and making some simple changes to your online behaviour are key to helping protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft.”