Information commissioner warns students of identity theft

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is urging new and returning university students to protect their personal information as the new academic year approaches.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is urging new and returning university students to protect their personal information as the new academic year approaches.

By safeguarding their personal information at a time when they are likely to be invited to sign up for new services and societies, students can lower their risk of falling victim to identity theft, said the ICO.

A survey conducted by the Information Commissioner's Office revealed that young people appear to protect their personal information less well than any other age group.

It found that 56% use the same passwords for more than one account. And one in five fails to properly destroy bank statements or receipts before throwing them in the bin.

David Smith, deputy commissioner at the ICO, said, "Protecting your personal information has never been so important. Almost every day we give out our personal details which can leave us open to identity theft, unwanted marketing and a loss of privacy.

"Students can be particularly vulnerable around this time of year. It can also be very irritating being pestered by unwanted marketing calls, text messages and junk mail, particularly if it involves unwittingly signing up for a service you are then charged for."

A free guide - the ICO's Personal Information Toolkit - is available to help students protect and manage their personal information.

The toolkit includes advice and tips on how to access the information that organisations hold about you, how to correct inaccurate information and how to reduce unwanted marketing calls and texts.




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