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UK nation of online shoppers

02 October 2005

Britons spent more online than other nations during September but less than one in two know about the risk from online ID fraudsters. (1)

In September the UK's online shoppers spent an average of £165, more than the US, France or Germany.

Yet half of online shoppers could fall prey to ID thieves because they don't understand the concept of phishing - where fraudsters ask for personal details online so they can impersonate you and buy goods, or access your accounts, in the virtual world.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"ID theft is a growing crime and fraudsters are coming up with ever more inventive ways of getting information from you which they can use to impersonate you.

"Provided you never respond to calls or emails asking for personal details, like your mother's maiden name and password details, and you make sure you only enter payment details in a secure environment people can protect themselves in the virtual world."

But it's not just in the virtual world people need to protect themselves from ID thieves. ID theft is a growing crime in the offline world and people can take a number of steps to protect themselves.

"People need to be vigilant in all walks of life and can protect themselves by shredding personal documents, checking their credit file regularly and cancelling unused credit facilities." explains Ms Nicholson.

How to protect yourself online
  • Install a firewall on your computer which updates automatically.
  • Install automatically updating anti-virus software.
  • Make sure you have anti-spyware software.
  • Don't send unencrypted personal or financial details - https or a padlock on your browser denote a secure site.
  • Check secure sites by double clicking on the padlock to make sure the certificate tallies with the website.
  • Don't reply to any email that asks for personal information.
  • Be vigilant over emails and attachments, even from known sources.
  • Close your browser if you end up on a site you didn't mean to.
  • Set your browser security setting to high.
  • Shut down your computer or disconnect from the internet when it's not in use.
Editors Notes
  1. RSA Security research during September 05 found an increase in the amount people are spending over the internet with the UK leading the way, with an average spend of £165. US consumers spent the least, £92 per consumer. The research also showed less than half of consumers were familiar with phishing.

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