More than four million people in the UK are victims of fraud every year. Although the nature of fraud varies on a case-by-case basis, one of the most common forms is credit fraud, which can wreak havoc in your life. Credit fraud occurs when an individual steals your personal credentials to borrow money. Following approval, they then won’t pay the money back. But helpfully, there are a number of ways to protect yourself against credit fraud, as we detail below.
Take online security seriously
So many people rely on just one or two passwords for every site that they access. But this plays into the hands of cybercriminals. They know that they can probably use your password to enter multiple sites, which jeopardises lots of your personal information. A great way to combat this is to use randomly generated passwords for every site you visit. Instead of trying to remember them all, you can then invest in a password manager to keep them safe. This is a much smarter way to manage your online security than using the same password over and over again.
Be aware of phishing scams
People are duped into phishing scams every year, which sees millions of pounds enter the accounts of cybercriminals. Phishing is where a criminal tries to get you to provide them with information related to your credentials via phone, text, or email. Therefore, you need to be aware that these scams occur, and you should never provide personal or financial information to someone who contacts you out of the blue.
Don’t save your credit card information online
It’s tempting to save your credit card information at an online checkout, as it will save you time when you come to complete your next purchase. But doing so increases your vulnerability to data breaches and is a bad move. What’s more, if someone steals your password for an e-commerce site, they can log in and spend on your credit card without issue. Therefore, when you’re given the option of saving your payment details at checkout, decline. Although it will take a few seconds more in the future to re-enter your details, it will reduce your chances of falling foul of credit fraud.
Check out a website’s security measures
Your first consideration when you visit a website is whether or not it is secure. The best way to do this is to check the address bar at the top of your browser. If there is a small padlock next to the URL, it means that the website is secure. However, if you don’t see the padlock, make sure you don’t enter any of your personal details, as you can’t be sure who has access to the backend of the site.
Don’t use public WIFI for transactions
Hackers love public WIFI networks as they’re extremely easy to infiltrate. Therefore, you should only really use public WIFI for browsing and avoid entering any sensitive financial information when you’re on an unsecured public network.
Open Banking can help you share your financial data safely online
Trusted third-party lenders like Koyo Loans utilise Open Banking to securely access your data and establish a clear picture of your current financial circumstances before approving you for credit. Firms that opt-in for Open Banking are regulated by the FCA and must adhere to strict guidelines in terms of GDPR and transparency. In other words, you can trust them to process your financial information.