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TalkTalk hack, what to do if you have been affected

As everyone will be aware now, telephone and internet provider TalkTalk has been the victim of a significant and sustained cyber-attack. It is thought that personal and financial data of its four million customers could have been compromised and although the details are as yet unconfirmed, the company has said that it has no idea if the data was encrypted, surely a terrible sign.

We have put together some ideas to prevent theft of your identity and also what we believe TalkTalk should be doing. What we are aware of is that four million people have been compromised and this is all in the hands of the hackers. We do know that the hackers have issued a ransom demand, which we can only assume is for the return of the stolen data. The serious thing is that the hackers could have in their possession your name, address, date of birth, telephone number, TalkTalk account information, credit card and bank details.

The very first thing that TalkTalk customers should do is to protect their financial situation by contacting your bank or credit card company, and warn them that your data may have been breached so that they can lookout for any suspicious activity from your account. Already we understand that the company has contacted the major banks and is offering a year’s free credit monitoring for all its customers. You should personally monitor all transactions over the next few months; look at your credit card and bank accounts daily, if you suspect that there is anything suspicious alert the Bank, or the UK’s fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud. Sites like Experian, Equifax and Noddle can help; they will be able to tell you if someone has applied for a credit card in your name.

If like most of us you use online bank accounts, take action now and also regularly, change your passwords. We know it is convenient, but try not to use the same one for a number of accounts. This can be made easier by using password managers such as 1Password, Last Pass and Dashlane, this makes it easy to keep a handle on different passwords.

Clearly TalkTalk needs to look at its cybersecurity, to remind you, this is the third time data has been breached, and it was only in August that TalkTalk customers were affected by the Carphone Warehouse attack that affected 2.4 million people. It happened again in February, which led many customers being tricked into losing thousands of pounds,

You should be aware that if your phone number was stolen in this latest breach, you could receive calls asking for further personal information, passwords or bank information for example, do not give anything out, the best advice is to hang up!

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