'Protect yourself online' government warn
28 January 2011
People who use social networking sites, shop online or surf the internet need to be more careful with their information online, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Ministry of Justice have warned.
Marking European Data Protection Day, the ICO said 60 per cent of people surveyed believed they had lost control of how their personal information is collected and processed. The survey also revealed that 92 per cent of people were concerned organisations did not keep their details secure.
"From employers looking up potential employees on Facebook to cyber criminals hacking into unsecured wifi networks, not protecting your personal information can cause serious harm and distress," said information commissioner Christopher Graham.
He added: "European Data Protection Day is about motivating people to regain control of their right to privacy. I hope people of all ages across the UK will do just that."
The ICO has now re-launched its toolkit providing tips on how to protect personal data online and giving advice about rights to access and correct data held by organisations.
Justice minister Lord McNally said technology had come a long way since the 1990s. "But with fresh opportunities come fresh risks for our personal information," he said.
"In addition to our work and that of the ICO, there is a huge amount that people can do to arm themselves against misuse of data, such as identity theft.
"I would especially encourage people to make use of the ICO's Personal Information Toolkit, because knowing your rights and knowing the risks really is the best way to protect yourself."
I believe that one of the largest contributors to Identity theft is the proliferation of insecure wireless hotspots. Thousands of people working around their own town as well as travellers from abroad use public hotspots. The cyber criminals can easily sit around and capture dozens of user credentials after which the whole Identity theft process becomes much easier.
Belinda - Egham