Cyber crimes and identity theft

Cyber Crime

The internet plays a big part in student life. So whether you’re conducting research for your studies, buying course books, or keeping in touch with friends, make sure you stay cyber-safe.

  • Use secure computers with updated security software.
  • Only shop on trusted and reputable sites; look for the padlock symbol.
  • Keep log-in details and passwords private.
  • Never publish personal details such as your name and address online – and don’t give them out to people you haven’t met in real life.
  • Keep all your records of online transactions.

Identity theft

If criminals find out your personal details, they may be able to use them to open bank accounts or get credit cards, loans and state benefits in your name. Criminals may also attempt to obtain documents in your name, such as a driving licence or passport. Information that is helpful to criminals includes your name, date of birth, address, National Insurance (NI) number and bank and credit card details.

  • Destroy documents that contain personal details before you dispose of them. Use a shredder.
  • If your passport, driving licence or credit card is lost or stolen, report it to the issuer immediately.
  • Get a copy of your credit file from one of the three credit reference agencies. This will help you to find out if someone else is applying for credit in your name.
  • If you move house, tell your bank, credit card companies and all other organisations with which you do business. The Royal Mail’s redirection service can ensure that your post arrives at your new address.
  • Never give personal or account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly, either by phone, post, email or in person.
  • If you use the internet, always use a different password for each account. Do not use family names or dates of birth as passwords. Follow the advice on the Securing Your Account and Password page.

For more information about identity theft, visit www.identitytheft.org.uk and www.getsafeonline.org