London, England (PRWEB) January 15, 2011
Experian has warned smartphone users may be risking the security of their identity if they store sensitive information on their phones and use unsecure WI-Fi networks to get online. This is according to new research by ProtectMyID, Experian's identity-protection service.
According to this latest research:
The Home Office found that mobile phone identity fraud (http://www.protectmyid.co.uk/ ), rose by three quarters (74%) in the first half of last year* but more than half of the smartphone users who took part in the Protect My ID (http://www.protectmyid.co.uk/ ) survey were completely unaware of the problem.
"The personal information on an average smartphone is like gold dust to an ID thief and many of us could be putting this on a plate by using public Wi-Fi networks," said Peter Turner, Managing Director of Experian Interactive. "A criminal can use this information to masquerade as the phone's owner, drain his or her accounts, run up debts in their victim's name and even open new accounts.
"Often, the first people know about it is when they receive a demand for payment for services they haven't used or for an account they have never heard of. We've certainly seen cases where criminals have changed the address of the smartphone, ordered new handsets and run up huge bills."
As many as 10,000 smartphones are also stolen every month, according to the Metropolitan Police**, so it really makes sense for users to take sensible identity protection (http://www.protectmyid.co.uk/howidentityprotectionworks.aspx ) precautions to keep their personal information safe.
Notes to editors:
*CIFAS: Fraudscape, 2010
Key benefits of ProtectMyID.co.uk
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent identity fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and offers).
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.
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