TalkTalk breach - tips to stay alert and protected
Due to a recent "significant and sustained cyber-attack" on the TalkTalk website, current and former customers may have been affected and their banking and personal data may have been accessed. Here are some tips to ensure you are protected as attackers tend to trick you into handing over more personal information after such a significant breach.
- Monitor transactions on your bank account
Check your recent transactions of your bank account that is registered with TalkTalk to spot any suspicious payments, regardless of the size of the transaction. Criminals tend to take a small amount first. Also keep an eye on it over the next few months. If you come across any unusual activity, you should contact your bank and notify Action Fraud line on 0300 123 2040 immediately.
- Change your password ASAP
Currently the TalkTalk “My Account” section is down but once this is up and running again, make sure to change the password ASAP. As a safe practice in general, it is advisable to use a different password for each account. If you use the same or a similar password on any other accounts, make sure to change these as well. Attackers may have harvested usernames, email addresses and passwords from TalkTalk and this can help them to unlock other services like email or other bank accounts. Passwords should be changed to a complex one: mixture of upper and lower case, alphanumeric and special characters (dependent on the password policy).
- Beware of scam calls
Be more careful when you receive a call from TalkTalk, especially if they are requesting personal information i.e. your full password or a pin. Make sure to take a reference number and call the company yourself on 0870 444 1820 to ensure this is a genuine call. TalkTalk says it will never call to ask customers to provide bank details.
- Watch out for scam emails
Attackers may use this opportunity to send convincing emails referring to this cyber attack to sound genuine. Be wary if they are asking you to click on any links or reply with personal information. These links can be linked to the official-looking websites which are set to harvest your account details. Call TalkTalk’s customer service line and ask whether they have sent an email if in doubt.
- Credit monitoring
Credit reference agencies could tell you if anyone has tried to open an account or take out credit in your name. TalkTalk also says it plans to organise a year's free credit monitoring for all its customers and will contact them with more details in due course.
This is the latest information published by:
Action Fraud: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Metropolitan Police: http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-talktalk-data-fraud-investigation-134676