Identity theft is on the rise in Britain, and young people are most at risk. According to fraud prevention experts, (This link will open in a new window)identity fraud (This link will open in a new window) hit a 13-year high in the UK in 2016, with 173,000 recorded cases. Twenty-five thousand of those involved people under 30.
The rise of digital services in everything from e-commerce to banking makes it easier than ever to conduct all manner of financial business from our laptops or smartphones. We can order groceries, send Christmas gifts, and check our rapidly dwindling bank balances without ever leaving the comfort of our homes.
But convenience has a price, and the more of our financial lives we carry out online, the more we expose ourselves to cybersecurity risks. Recent incidents such as the (This link will open in a new window)Equifax data breach (This link will open in a new window), which jeopardised 143 million of people’s private information in both the U.K. and the U.S., illustrated the urgency of improving data security. The massive WannaCry malware attack that (This link will open in a new window)“crippled” the NHS (This link will open in a new window)highlighted the growing threat of cyber criminality and the need for dynamic cyber defense systems.
While we expect major companies and banks to create security protocols to protect our data, some of the responsibility stays with us. Although cyberattacks are on the rise, there are measures we can take to protect ourselves.