General identity security


Incidents of Social Engineering and Identity Theft are generally on the rise.

Posting certain types of information about yourself publicly online can assist fraudsters. You should guard against making the following pieces of information available generally online;

  • Your full name
  • Your full address (and post code)
  • National insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number
  • Mothers maiden name
  • Birthplace
  • Current place of study/work
  • Recent addresses

Having up to date security software on your PC or laptop will also help keep your information secure.  The equipment provided for you at your college site will have Anti-Virus software, Spy/Adware and local firewall software installed, but you need to ensure that your equipment has these installed and that they are kept up to date as new viruses are released all the time.  Some of the new security software will even alert you to sites that may be fake.

When you use shared computer equipment, such as the college PCs or internet café PCs, you should always ensure that you log out at the end of your session.  If you pop away from the computer then lock the session by pressing ctrl+alt+del, then your password will be required to access your session. Many internet browsers have the capacity to store local password information. When using shared resources you should always answer No to any prompt asking if you wish to save your password details.

If you have a Wi-Fi connection at home make sure that this is secured.  Your Wi-Fi manual should provide you with instructions on a couple of easy changes which should make your setup more secure; such as how to change the administrative password for the device and enable WPA/WEP encryption.