Digital footprints - taking a step in the right direction

Posted by Paul Anderson Riley in Identity Theft on 1 December 2016 - Paul is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

Credit reports and the internet are now not too far away from each other in evaluative skill, as there is a lot that can be learnt about an individual from their online presence.

The emergence of social scoring has highlighted the importance of knowing how you are represented online and how this could impact applications for jobs, tenancies or credit agreements. The ability to check your social score has recently been incorporated into the checkmyfile multi-agency credit report.

Analysts are also constantly reporting the increase of cyber fraud and this is evident in the increasing exposure in the news. This too highlights the importance of knowing what is held about you online and how this can impact you on a day-to-day basis.

Like credit agreements that aren’t being used, dormant social media accounts are also useful for fraudsters to attack as they are not actively being monitored. In either situation, it would be advisable to close these accounts to be certain they cannot be accessed by any cyber criminals.

For social media accounts you are regularly using it would be recommendable to check the privacy settings for your specific account. Sometimes making personal information publicly available may make you more vulnerable to fraud and could also impact your social score. Twitter has, since 2013, archived every tweet since 2006 even if you have deleted your account. If you are not actively using Twitter or have deleted your account, it would still be advisable to change your privacy settings so that only followers can access this information.

Historic data from social media may relate to different times that you may not want a potential employer, landlord or lender to see. On most social media platforms you can delete old posts or amend what can be seen. It is not only the posts that you write, either, as posts you have been tagged in could also be taken into consideration. For social accounts that cannot be deleted, you can usually change your name to something different to avoid this being easily searched and matched with yourself.

Doing a Google search or Bing search on your name should quickly reveal any personal information held online. If you feel that certain results shouldn’t be displayed you can ask these to be removed by the search provider, or you can contact the provider that holds the information. Some landline and mobile phone companies publish phone numbers online, so it would be advisable to contact your provider to ask if they can remove this online if they follow this practice and you don’t want your personal number to made available.

Finally, be wary of people contacting you by email or phone that seem to already hold a wealth of information. Some scam artists may build a profile of you using publically available data before contacting you to seem more credible. If any uncertainty exists, simply say you are unable to talk and do some research into the company that contacted you. You can always call back if needed.

Check Your Multi-Agency Credit Report

30 Day Free Trial

Tesco Online Grocery List Disappears

After well over 10 years of using Tesco’s online grocery service, all of sudden, all of my Tesco order history has disappeared, alongside all the information stored in My Favourites – purchases made in-store and online over the past 13 months, My Usuals, and My Shopping Lists.

Published on 9 Oct 2018 by Barry Stamp

Full Article

Are linked addresses on your credit file a bad thing

Your Credit Report can surprise you: it can include reference to an address you have long-forgotten about or sometimes even an address you have never heard of, which is one of the reasons it’s important to check in every now and then.

Published on 30 Jul 2018 by Ian Carpenter

Full Article

Loan Fee Fraud: The £3.5 Million a Year Scam

For people facing financial hardship, sometimes taking out a loan to tide things over can seem like the most viable solution. But if you’re out of work or have a lower-than-average credit rating, it can be harder to get credit from mainstream lenders and mean that more expensive forms of finance in the sub-prime market are the only viable option. It often feels like a hopeless situation.

Published on 8 Jun 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Protecting yourself against identity theft online

Modern day fraudsters are now able to use the internet as a helpful tool to acquire a vast amount of information about an individual just from using their name. From this, they start to build a portfolio of data that they can then use to obtain credit, bank accounts and sign up for other services. By following a few simple steps you can help to reduce the risk of being exposed to a fraudster online.

Published on 22 May 2018 by Paul Anderson Riley

Full Article

Personal Data in the Wake of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica

Strange as it might sound to some, huge numbers of people routinely complete online surveys through Facebook to find out which football player they are most like, which Hogwarts house they should be in or how much money they will be earning in 2050. The truth is, every time you volunteer seemingly innocuous information or consent to share profile information with an app, your data is probably going somewhere to be used for another purpose.

Published on 17 Apr 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

Full Article

Identity Fraud: What To Do If It Happens To You

Year on year, there has been a substantial rise in the number of identity fraud cases being reported to organisations such as Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. It’s no real surprise when you consider the crime can be committed from the comfort of someone’s home without ever having to risk showing their face.

Published on 6 Feb 2018 by George Coburn

Full Article

What's a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) & Why is it on my Report?

PEP stands for Politically Exposed Person, which would typically relate to an individual who has a prominent public title or function. If you receive this classification, often you will have to undergo additional security checks when applying for finance. Your credit file will tell you if you have been identified as a PEP, however for most people it isn’t something they’ll need to worry about.

Published on 8 Jan 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

Full Article

Brits continuing to fall for HMRC and Apple gift card scam

At the face of it, it seems a bit odd that the company responsible for collecting taxes would request payment from individuals in the form of an Apple iTunes gift card, but according to Action Fraud, this scam has continued to be profitable for fraudsters. The scheme first came to light in May last year and Action Fraud have received hundreds of complaints since then.

Published on 30 Jan 2017 by George Coburn

Full Article

Yahoo’ve been hacked – Yahoo in largest ever reported data breach

In the last two years, we have already been alerted to data breaches at Three Mobile, Tesco Bank, TalkTalk, Morrison’s, Steam and Sage, amongst others. The scale of these hacker attacks have varied. But none have come close to the newest report.

Published on 16 Dec 2016 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

Lloyds bank letter scam

Millions of consumers have been warned to be vigilant and question written correspondence from their banks following a sophisticated scam which has targeted customers of Lloyds Bank.

Published on 12 Dec 2016 by Kirstie Brown

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on