ARE YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS STILL PERSONAL?
A QUB student warns of what can happen when you fail to be meticulous about keeping your details infinitely personal...
When the first loan installment arrives in September we all sign up to new services, new clubs, and new societies. As students, we live in halls or a shared house, where everyone has access to everyone else’s mail, and we regularly check our all-revealing Facebook/bebo profile pages. Little do we know that, in doing this, we become a gift to identity fraudsters.
Personal identity these days means much more than your name, address and telephone number. With the amount of door to door and online services available, we have a host of crucial login details, account numbers, passwords and pin numbers to remember. But it will never happen to you, right?
Imagine my horror last year when I realised that my weekly food shop would not go through at the local supermarket, because someone had stolen my identity through tracking my use of a public computer and taken £900 from my bank account. I had no money and faced weeks of phonecalls to make sure the banks insurance could cover the fraud. It cost me much more than expected, not to mention the stress caused during a very busy term time which became almost unbearable.
You’ve probably guessed that there’s a moral to this story. Always stop and question yourself when giving out your personal details. Think - Is the environment I am in secure? Can I really trust giving out my details in this instance? There’s only one simple answer if there’s even a shadow of a doubt over the answer to this. Protect yourself - or you could find yourself like I was; £900 down and not a happy bunny.