Protecting your identity


Identity fraud is massive in the UK, not only is it costly to you , the individual, but it can be very unsettling. We have all heard of someone it has effected but there are a number of simple and easy precautions you can take to reduce your risk from both physical and computer identity fraud. 

Despite repeated advice in the news, few of us actually do anything about protecting ourselves in even the simplest ways. Stolen identities can be used to gain access to your bank and building societies to defraud you of money, as well as to forge passports and driving licences.  You can reduce your risk by following the few simple steps outlined below:

  • Shred all personal information including bank statements, utility bills and envelopes/letters with your address on.  Look for shredders that cross cut pages – these mean that the content cannot be reconstructed.  Look for a sturdy well built options of which there are many on the market from both high street stores such as Lakeland and Smiths or just go on the web
  • Be careful where you use your credit card to withdraw money – check the machine and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder!  Don’t carry any more cards around than you need
  • Check you bank and credit card statements, notify your bank of any unusual transactions as soon as possible


  • Don’t choose passwords that can easily be guessed and try to have a number of different ones
  • Don’t write them down or tell people
  • Never divulge all your security info over the phone – in general staff will ask for a couple of digits to confirm your identity
  • Never divulge your full details in request to e-mails – some of these are extremely genuine looking.  A bank or credit company would NEVER ask for full details in this way
  • Always go direct to your banks website and never use a link in an e-mail and don't forget alway use the 'log out' facility to ensure your transaction is closed properley
  • When using web sites to purchase items or when banking online always ensure they are properly secure. Always type the web address into the  browser yourself – be wary of links in e-mails.  Make sure the web site address starts with  ‘https://’ and there is a small padlock in the window browser window’s frame (not on the web page itself).


  • Think carefully about what you delare in chatrooms and forums - do they really need to know all your details! Make your children aware of the potential risks, make sure they don't give their details to strangers
  • If you suspect mail is being lost report it and if you move redirect as soon as practical or contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry Line:

08457 740 740    You can also use this service when you are on holiday.

  • Invest in a safe at home for all your personal documents such as birth and marriage certificates and consider using the bank for share certificates etc

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