TalkTalk Cyber Attack: ReputationDefender top 5 tips to keep your data safe.
Last week communications provider TalkTalk came forward to admit a cyber attack on its website could have led to the theft of private data from it’s UK customer base. The company’s website and computer systems have been compromised three times in just eight months, putting the personal details of up to four million UK customers at risk. The data in question hadn’t been encrypted, arguably not a legal requirement, but one could argue TalkTalk’s data ethics would have led them to encrypt client data, safeguarding against further cyber attack.
Talk Talk isn’t sure which customers details have been stolen so they cannot look to isolate the problem or identify the customers most at risk. Although TalkTalk have admitted the breach, they are confident the data taken is not enough to cause direct theft from bank accounts or credit cards. However, lists of customers’ details are understood to be circulating around the dark web, where the following customer information will be currently be up for sale to the highest bidder;
- Customer names and postal addresses
- Dates of birth
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- TalkTalk account information
- Partial credit card details
- Bank account numbers and sort codes
Unfortunately once this data makes its way onto the dark web it can be passed among criminal gangs for years .We have already seen reports of phishing and telephone scams where the victims have received phone calls from the perpetrators armed with their personal TalkTalk account details and have been tricked into handing over their bank details.
There are of course some precautions Talk Talk customers should be taking at this moment in time.
Tony McChrystal, ReputationDefender EMEA Director offer his top 5 tips to help keep your online data safe.
1: Beware of scam calls.
As we have already discussed the scammers need further information to gain access to your bank details. Be cautious of any telephone calls claiming to be from TalkTalk, under no circumstances share any private information.
TalkTalk have this week said it never asks customers to give their full passwords or Pin codes over the telephone.
2: Be careful of emails too.
Using basic design software, scammers can mock up and send very convincing emails that look very official but are actually attackers trying to gather your personal information.
They may even refer to the cyberattack scandal in an attempt to appear genuine.
Again do not share any personal information click on a link or open an attachment. Criminals can set up corporate looking websites to obtain your trust and harvest your account details.
3: Monitor your bank account.
Check your bank account regularly; keep an eye for any unfamiliar looking transactions irrelevant of the amount. Even a £1 transaction could potentially be a risk.
Talk Talk are advising all customers to change their account passwords as soon as possible.
If like many others you recycle your password across multiple accounts it is just as important to change these. Attackers may have harvested usernames, email addresses and passwords from TalkTalk which could let them unlock other services such as your email.
If you are in doubt contact Talk Talk directly to verify any recent communication.
5: Talk to a privacy specialist
ReputationDefender find where your data is in the darkest recesses of the Internet and make sure it’s removed and protected for the future. Patented technology supported by a Privacy expert provide unparalled Digital Privacy Protection.
The benefits of online banking and online account management are there for all to see but unfortunately this convenience comes with a real risk, it’s the responsibility of our service providers to manage that risk as best they can but by following the above tips we can also help ourselves.