News that TalkTalk was subjected to a malicious attack of its online systems dominated the news last month. As more details are disclosed, it’s a good time to check your own online security. For the 157,000 customers said to be affected, simply changing your TalkTalk account password is not enough to protect you from further abuse.
TalkTalk has revealed that 4% of its customers are affected, which it says was “much more limited than initially suspected”.
In total, 156,959 customers had personal details accessed, with 15,656 bank account numbers and sort codes stolen. A further 28,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers were “obscured” and, according to the telephone and internet provider “cannot be used for financial transactions”.
As with the attacks on international banks, once targeted individuals will continue to be susceptible to further attacks on accounts that share the same or similar usernames or passwords.
Cyber criminals may access less well protected accounts, including social media accounts, which people use the same passwords for their banks and other highly sensitive accounts.
As well as changing passwords for the accounts that have knowingly been hacked, victims should change the passwords for any accounts that they wish to remain private.
To avoid being caught out, follow a few simple preventative steps for all online accounts:
- Use a complex password of numbers, capital letters and symbols for all your online accounts
- Change your passwords regularly
- Use a different password for each account
- Don’t use an obvious pattern of updates to a password
- Don’t access or send sensitive information on unknown or public wi-fi networks
- Exercise common sense when in a public place
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49734147@N00/22464124315″>HackHack The TalkTalk Logo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>