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More than 110 million pieces of personal information traded online already in 2014.
London, UK, 20 October 2014 - New research* from Experian®, the global information services company, reveals that while people are getting better at taking steps to protect their personal information online, the volume of illegally traded information online is soaring with more than 110 million pieces of data bought and sold by criminals so far in 2014.
The independent study was commissioned by Experian using web monitoring technology – which monitors the web to help people quickly detect ID theft, loss or disclosure of vital personal and financial information – and showed an increase of 40% from last year alone and 300% on the total amount traded in 2012.
96.5% of the illegally traded data consists of login credentials – username and password combinations – as online accounts can give identity fraudsters access to huge amounts of information such as where you bank or shop, linked accounts which may have passwords saved automatically and all the personal information you may have shared over email. Compromised email accounts also contain personal contact lists that in turn could be targeted by these fraudsters.
With the remaining data consisting primarily of passport details and payment card details e.g. card number, expiry date and the security code (three-digit CVV2 number) from the back of the card, the importance of protecting online accounts is clear.
The findings come despite signs that Britain is becoming increasingly web-savvy. Separate research commissioned by Experian among 2,000 adults has discovered that:
People are also closing down the accounts that they don’t use, leaving less opportunity for criminals to exploit their online identity:
But despite some improvements, there are still signs of poor online password behaviour:
Peter Turner, Managing Director with Experian Consumer Services, UK & Ireland said:
“These results are startling and combined with the knowledge that we have also seen a 37% increase in those receiving help from the Experian Victims of Fraud team in the last year, it is clear that identity theft and resulting fraud is a real concern.
“Given the number of online services that we all use each and every day, it is so important that we are all vigilant in protecting our information online. While this may seem like a mammoth task, know that companies are using ever more sophisticated technologies to detect and prevent fraud and if we all implement even the basics of online identity protection, we will together make it far more difficult for online criminals to succeed.
“Remember fraudsters operate to make money, and so if your personal information has been compromised, one of the first places that you can spot potential fraud is by seeing unfamiliar credit applications being made in your name on your credit report. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to identity fraud so keep a very close eye on your credit report and if you see anything suspicious take immediate steps to investigate and resolve before you are negatively impacted.”
Follow the basics of online identity protection to protect yourself from ID Theft
On The Move:
Know where your details go:
For more information please contact:
Karolina Davison or Mumtaz Hussain – 01483 489089 / email@example.com
Experian Consumer Services
Joanne Leahy – 07791894469 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2014 was US$4.8 billion. Experian employs approximately 16,000 people in 39 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.
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