Sarah Young (Police, PC – Cyber crime prevention officer, Wiltshire Police)
In view of the Talk Talk issue hitting the media today, any customers are advised to change passwords and monitor your bank accounts. If you suspect any suspicious activity contact your bank immediately and follow the advice below.
The phone and broadband provider Talk Talk which has over 4 million UK customers have that said banking details and personal information could have been accessed by hackers in a recent cyber attack.
Credit card, bank account details, names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and telephone numbers could all have been accessed by hackers according to Talk Talk.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the attack and have said no-one has been arrested but enquiries are ongoing.
TalkTalk said: “We would like to reassure you that we take any threat to the security of our customers’ data very seriously. We constantly review and update our systems to make sure they are as secure as possible and we’re taking all the necessary steps to understand this incident and to protect as best we can against similar attacks in future.
“Unfortunately cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and attacks against companies which do business online are becoming more frequent.”
“We are continuing to work with leading cybercrime specialists and the Metropolitan police to establish exactly what happened and the extent of any information accessed”.
What can those who have been affected do?
Contact your bank/credit card company, so that they can monitor for suspicious activity on your account.
Change your password for your online accounts. Use three words which mean something to you but are random to others – this creats a password that is strong and more memorable. You should change passwords often and never use the same one twice.
Monitor your account for any suspicious or unexpected activity.
Beware of targeted phishing emails. If you receive unsolicited emails never reply with your full password, login details or account details. Don’t click on any links as you could end up downloading a virus.
Be wary of anyone calling asking for personal information, bank details or passwords. If in doubt, just hang up. In the past TalkTalk customers have complained about receiving scam calls from fraudsters pretending to be TalkTalk claiming that they want to warn users about malware infections on their computer.
Watch out for signs of identity crime. Visit Experian, Equifax or Noddle to check your credit rating to make sure no one has applied for credit in your name.
For online safety advice visit Get Safe Onlne and Cyberstreewise.
If you have fallen victim to fraud, report it to Action Fraud and get a police crime reference number.