Social media users risking identity theft by leaving profiles open
Furthermore, one in four admit to writing down their passwords, either on a piece of paper or on a note on their phone, not thinking about the increased risk of those passwords falling into the wrong hands.
The report from Experian said that one in ten leave their profiles entirely public so that anybody can see every post and personal information, while more than one in three do not put privacy settings on certain aspects of their profile or on all of their posts, leaving crucial pieces of information exposed. A further two in five do not password protect their personal devices leaving all the information stored on their mobile open.
Meanwhile, a separate study showed that over seven million adult Brits have used Wi-Fi belonging to someone else because they cannot afford their own. The report from Santander found that five per cent of people have ‘borrowed’ Wi-Fi from their neighbours because they couldn’t afford their own, Five per cent have spent time in a café or shop with free Wi-Fi without ordering or buying anything and three per cent of people have jumped on an unknown, unsecured Wi-Fi when out and about.
Phil Rance, director of identity products at Experian, said: “Across Scotland, identity fraud is on the rise, with an increase in criminals stealing and trading personal information to open bank, mobile phone and credit card accounts in other people’s name. This leaves you left to deal with the consequences of your personal information being stolen, which can be extremely distressing. Yet we aren’t doing enough as individuals to protect our personal information.
“One in ten Scots have a public social media account, meaning anyone can search for them and view their activity. We are encouraging people to assess their day-to-day habits and think about the information they share that could be used for fraudulent purposes.”
Matt Hall, head of banking and unsecured credit at Santander, said: “While ‘piggybacking’ someone else’s Wi-Fi might seem like a good way to save a few pounds, consumers are risking their online security by doing so.”