As new campaign* reveals scammers are getting cleverer equifax urges consumers to do the basics
Over a quarter of Brits change passwords less than once a year
Financial Fraud Action UK has today* released data that reveals that a financial fraud incident happens every 15 seconds. The payments industry body is therefore urging consumers to be vigilant to the increasingly sophisticated tactics being used to trick people out of their personal details and steal their money.
As well as being alert to the scams fraudsters play to gain people’s personal information, Equifax is highlighting the importance of managing passwords too. Online research** commissioned by the credit information provider reveals that how we manage our passwords could mean we are leaving an ‘open door’ for fraudsters. According to the responses of over 2,000 people, more than a quarter (27%) change their online passwords less than once a year and 23% never change their passwords without being prompted. It appears the over 55’s are the most lax – with 29% of them admitting to infrequently updating their passwords.
Lisa Hardstaff, identity fraud expert at Equifax, believes that the fact that people now have so many passwords to remember could be a reason why people don’t regularly update their passwords. “Our research revealed that nearly a third of consumers (31%) have more than five passwords. This demonstrates that people in the UK are definitely doing the right thing in ensuring that if a fraudster accesses one of their passwords they can’t access all their other accounts by using the same password. However, good practice is to ensure that you regularly change your passwords and worryingly over a quarter of Brits do that less than once a year.
“Passwords can be the first barrier online criminals face when trying to access someone’s personal details. So understanding what makes a password strong can help keep information safe.”
Lisa Hardstaff is available for interviews and comment on ID fraud.
“Choosing safe passwords has become a fixture in modern security, and as security becomes more complex so do the methods criminals will use to get past it as today’s Financial Fraud Action UK report shows”, concluded Lisa Hardstaff. ““In addition to ensuring you have a strong password to reduce the risk of falling victim to identity fraud and other cybercrimes.
Equifax Identity Watch Pro includes WebDetect, which alerts individuals if their financial details are shared on websites used by fraudsters. Subscribers also get alerts within 24 hours of significant changes to their credit report, allowing them to act quickly to cancel cards and accounts before any serious damage is done. And with unlimited access to their latest credit report online, consumers can stay one step ahead of the criminals. The service costs £9.95 per month.
**YouGov survey, total sample size 2060 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th - 7th June 2016. The survey was conducted online.
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Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax”) powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyses data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,200 employees worldwide.
Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Ranked 13 on the American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2015); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2015); named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015). For more information, visit www.equifax.com
Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.
Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.