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Comment : Risky on-line behaviour by consumers fuelling increase in identity fraud, warns Detica

Consultancy Firm Detica Group warned that people are still failing to combat identity fraud, despite an increased risk and heightened fear among the public of the crime and it believes this problem stems from people not only lacking a basic understanding about online security but also engaging in positively risky on-line behaviour.

David Porter, Head of Security and Risk at Detica, said: "There is only so much that experts and computer systems can do to prevent identity fraud.

The final responsibility rests with the consumer. Identity fraud attacks succeed largely because of human fallibility; however there are simple steps that people can take to avoid being caught out by fraudsters."

"In particular, people need to be more guarded about their behaviour online and be aware that personal information that they reveal about themselves, for example on social networking sites, can be accessed and used by fraudsters. Keeping a close eye on bank statements and regularly changing PINs and passwords is also vital."

Research shows that identity fraud has now overtaken mugging, pick-pocketing and burglary to become the nation's top safety fear.

Furthermore, a recent report has highlighted that the credit crunch is leading to the increased risk that bank account holders will become victims of identity fraud.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on ID cards found that fraudsters are finding it more difficult to use fake identities to open accounts and take out loans as credit dries up, which in turn is leading to an increase in identity fraud based on techniques such as phishing.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.