Help protect yourself before it happens

Fraudsters can use your identity for their own financial gain. This can have a big impact on your finances – they could take money from your bank account or take credit out in your name. And you’re the one who’s left to pick up the pieces.

On average, it takes 292 days to even discover you’ve been a victim of fraud. Thankfully the effects can be reversed in most situations, but that can take another 300 hours. Save yourself the hassle by helping to protect your identity before fraud happens.

We can help you keep your identity safe by keeping an eye on your details and Experian Credit Report to alert you to certain changes that may indicate fraud.


Did you know?

You're 17 times more likely to suffer a case of fraud than a robbery.

Are you putting yourself at risk of identity fraud?

Take our quiz to find out

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About You
At Home
In Public
Online
Mobile
Results
Next

Do you have a list of your PINs or passwords listed anywhere?

Do you share any of your PINs or passwords with others?

Do you have different PINs and passwords for different accounts?

Do you check your credit report regularly?

Have you ever been a victim of fraud?

Are you a company director?

Have you moved recently (eg in the last 6 months)?

Did you get your mail forwarded?

Are you on the electoral roll at your current address?

Do you share a common letterbox/hallway with another house or apartment/s?

How often do you open your mail?

Do you cover your PIN when entering it?

Do you eat out at restaurants regularly?

How many credit or debit cards do you carry with you in your purse/wallet?

Do you carry your driving licence with you at all times?

Do you shop online?

Do you check whether the website is secure eg has a security logo, a padlock icon or an address that starts with https?

Do you use online banking?

Do you have a profile on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or dating websites?

Do you share personal information like your date of birth, phone number or home address on these sites?

Do you share your location on social media (for example, check-in on Facebook or location tagging on Instagram)?

Do you know how to choose your privacy settings on social media?

Do you have anti-virus software on your computer?

Do you keep the software on your computer and mobile phone updated?

Do you have a password, PIN or fingerprint ID to lock your mobile phone?

Do you store personal details such as your home address bank account numbers or PINs on your mobile phone?

Do you access the internet on your mobile phone?

Do you use public Wi-Fi, for example in a coffee shop?

Do you have an internet banking app on your mobile phone?

Your overall Risk Level is high

You appear to be making it too easy for identity thieves to get their hands on your personal details. You need to take more care when dealing with your personal information and be more proactive in keeping your identity safe.

Your results. Tips for keeping your identity safe.

Based on your answers, we've given you a risk level for each section. Expand on each for simple tips to help protect your identity and personal details

About You
Your Risk Levelvery high

  • Memorise your passwords and PINs and do not keep a list of them anywhere, whether on your phone, computer or a piece of paper.
  • Never share confidential information, such as PINs, bank account details and passwords with anyone. Sharing this information puts yourself at a high risk of identity theft. If you do, your bank or credit card provider could deny a fraud claim that you make.
  • Use strong passwords made up of three random words – you can add in numbers and symbols, and use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters if you want.
  • You should always choose a different (unrelated) password for your key accounts, especially for your email account, online banking and anywhere your card details are saved. Any personal details, such as your name, birthday, home town, partner’s name, pet’s name, etc. do not make good passwords as they are easy for fraudsters to discover. Use strong passwords made up of three random words – you can add in numbers and symbols, and use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters if you want.
  • Check your credit report regularly, especially if you receive an alert. If you see anything unusual, contact Experian and we'll investigate. Spotting a suspicious item on your credit report early can save you emotional and financial stress. It can also help catch the identity thief before they commit more fraud.
  • Having previously been a victim of fraud makes you more vulnerable to identity fraud. It’s a good idea to request Protective Registration with Cifas. This puts a flag against your name so that many lenders will know to do further checks if an application is made in your name. You can contact Cifas directly or our victims of fraud team can set this up for you.
  • The full name, home address and sometimes even the signatures of company directors are available to certain sources. Make sure you keep other details, especially your date of birth, private. It’s a key piece of information identity thieves use to obtain a birth certificate for impersonating you. As a company director, you may want to be particularly careful about giving up possession of your sensitive documents like your passport, driving licence, birth certificate or marriage certificate, unless you are certain it is required.

At Home
Your Risk LevelHigh

  • Never just throw away anything that contains your personal details – make sure you shred it. This protects your information from falling into the wrong hands. For added security, dispose of the shredded documents in batches so that they cannot be put back together.
  • Get your mail forwarded when you move and notify the Post Office immediately if any of your mail is going missing.
  • Register on the electoral roll at your current address. If your name is linked to your address, it will make it harder for identity thieves to make applications in your name from a different address.
  • If you are concerned you are at risk because you live somewhere with shared mail facilities such as a lobby or shared hallway, consider getting your statements and bills online instead of by post. Note when you should receive mail (such as bank statements and utility bills) and contact the providers if they don’t arrive on time. If any of your mail goes missing, you should also contact the Post Office.
  • Be cautious of unexpected phone calls. Don’t give away personal information to someone who has cold-called you. It’s a good idea to hang up and call the organisation back on its official number.
  • Open your mail as soon as you receive it so that you can spot signs of fraud (like new credit applications or transactions you don’t recognise) as soon as possible.

In Public
Your Risk Levellow

  • Always be aware of what is going on around you whenever you enter your PIN. Make sure you cover your PIN at all times wherever you enter it, not just at an ATM.
  • When you hand your card over for payment, for example in a restaurant, watch what happens to it as card skimming is a risk. This is when someone copies your card by swiping it into a different device.
  • Try to carry as few debit and credit cards as you can. If your purse/wallet got stolen, the thief will have access to less of your personal information. Cancel any credit cards that you no longer use.
  • Driving licences are commonly used by identity thieves, so try not to carry your driving licence with you (in case you lose it or your wallet is stolen). If requested to produce it by the police, you have the option to show it at a police station within seven days.

Online
Your Risk Levellow

  • Action Fraud is a great resource for keeping up to date with the latest scams and fraud issues. You can sign up to alerts here. Phishing, which happens when fraudsters send an email that looks to be from a reputable company in order to get you to reveal personal information, is becoming a common problem. These emails often include links to fake websites which will ask you to enter personal information. Make sure you check links for legitimate URLs. Remember that companies usually won’t ask for confidential data via email. If you’re ever unsure, delete the email and contact the supposed sender through their official contact details. Don’t use illegal streaming and downloading sites, as they often host malicious software or phishing scams.
  • When shopping online, it’s best to use websites you know and trust. Credit cards offer greater protection against fraud than debit cards. Storing your payment details on websites is not recommended. Even if the retailer is reputable and unlikely to abuse this information, they could suffer a data breach.
  • Before entering your card details, check that the site is secure. Look for the padlock icon and check that the website address starts with https rather than http.
  • Use online banking to check your account in real-time and spot any transactions that you don’t recognise. If you receive an email you’re suspicious of, contact the relevant organisation using their official contact details. Your bank, credit card provider and any reputable business will never ask for confirmation of personal details by email. Don’t send sensitive information via email, like your credit card number or bank account number, as it could be intercepted.
  • Be careful about how much personal information you make public – the more information you share, the higher the risk of an identity thief using it to impersonate you. Only add and accept friends who you actually know. Use separate email addresses when you register for online services as well as separate passwords. This way if criminals get hold of one of your account details or gain access to one email account, your other accounts will be safe.
  • Review the personal details you have posted online and see if there is some you can remove. In future, limit what details you share.
  • Limit or avoid sharing your location online. This information lets burglars know that you’re not home and gives fraudsters more details about you.
  • Check the privacy settings on your social media accounts to make sure that only a small number of trusted friends and family can view your personal details.
  • Install protective software and keep it up to date by setting it to update automatically. You should have an anti-virus check running on any incoming emails and set up a firewall to protect your computer.
  • Updates for operating systems, apps and software often come with security updates so it’s important that you always update your devices.

Mobile
Your Risk Levellow

  • Only download apps from reputable stores. Don’t ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ your device as this makes it vulnerable to malicious software.
  • Make sure that your mobile phone locks automatically in case you forget to lock it. This will help prevent fraudsters from being able to access your personal information.
  • Make sure that you have set a password or PIN for accessing your phone. Identity thieves can use personal information stored on your phone to commit fraud. Set your phone to lock automatically in case you forget to lock it.
  • Be careful about how much personal information you store on your phone, particularly sensitive data such as PINs, passwords and bank account numbers. Even personal information that you might not regard as very sensitive (like your address, partner’s name, etc.) can also be used to impersonate you.
  • Make sure you always check that websites are legitimate. This is harder on a phone screen as the full website URL isn’t always visible so it’s a good idea to turn the phone on its side so you can see more of the address bar. If you notice any technical issue with your mobile phone, contact your provider immediately as it could be a sign that your phone or sim card has been hacked.
  • If you notice any technical issue with your mobile phone, contact your provider immediately as it could be a sign that your phone or sim card has been hacked.
  • Connect only to networks you know are secure – such as at home or at work. Connecting to public Wi-Fi – whether in a coffee shop, an airport or a railway station – could put you at risk. Even if the business itself is reputable and unlikely to cause you any harm, the Wi-Fi network won’t be secure so criminals could use it to access your device. If you do connect to public Wi-Fi, don’t access websites that require passwords, like your internet banking, or enter personal details like your card number.
  • Make sure that you’ve set your apps to be as secure as possible. Many banks offer two-step authentication for more protection.

Read more about identity theft and fraud

What is identity theft?

Lots of today’s fraud cases start with identity theft. Find out more about what it is and how it might affect you.

Read more

Want to reduce your risk of becoming a victim?

Our tips on how you can spot identity theft early and reduce its impact.

Read more

Can you tell the warning signs?

Your own habits can put you at risk of fraud, so it’s worth knowing what to look for.

Read more

If you are a victim of identity fraud

Read our step-by-step guide on what you can do if you become a victim of fraud.

Read more