In Part I of this series we considered how safe your personal data is and how quickly fraudsters could use it. Now we consider how to keep it safe. In Part III discover how to recover your money in the event that you’re scammed


  • Within 3 minutes of liking a post on Facebook people were startled at the personal data appearing on their take away coffee cups #datatogo
  • Scam victims lose an average of £20k to fraudsters
  • Fraud costs the UK £6k per second, £3k per head of population


Conduct ‘data health checks’:

  • Regularly check your bank/credit card/store card/PayPal statements etc for any irregular or unexpected activity

  • Frequently change your passwords; use a combination of symbols, numbers, letters, lower case and upper case; make them non-personal

  • Check your credit reports

  • Review your social media accounts and delete anything giving away inappropriate information

  • Ensure you have appropriate privacy settings in place

  • Do a personal google search, you might be surprised what you find

Do your due diligence:

  • Check out investment opportunities with The FCA (@TheFCA), if it sounds too good to be true it probably is #TrustYourInitialInstincts

  • For pension liberation consult The Pensions Regulator (@TPRgovuk)

  • Check Companies House for entities’ filing history and accounts

  • Do a Google search on an entity, its owners and directors for any adverse information

  • Search insolvency notices on The Gazette for liquidation/administration/bankruptcy history

  • Check who you’re connecting with on LinkedIn, who’s following you on Twitter and Instagram, who you’re friends with on Facebook

Be cautious:

  • Don’t answer unsolicited calls; if you do, wait at least 5 minutes before dialling to ensure the original call is disconnected

  • Don’t open unexpected or unrecognised emails, text messages or web links

  • Ensure that websites are secure before inputting any personal data

  • Install and maintain appropriate security software. Knowhow Service Bars at some PC World stores offer computer health checks and spyware removal services for £60

  • It’s not just your identity that can be hijacked, that of people/firms you trust can be too. Consider verifying identity

  • Don't give your PINs, passwords, cards or cheque books to anyone else
  • Don’t part with any money upfront unless you’re certain of a person or entity’s credibility

Take action, share your experiences, help prevent others falling victim and stop fraudsters in their tracks, #fightfraud:

Avoid #datatogo be #fraudalert #scamalert #scamsmart and #protectyourdata #protectyourmoney 

In the event you are scammed discover how to recover your money in Part III of this series, coming soon