LONDON, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Millions of Britons are leaving themselves open to identity theft by carelessly discarding personal information.
According to research from John Lewis Home Insurance, one in six (16%) of us fails to destroy documents like bank statements, receipts and invoices before throwing them away.
John Brady, head of commercial at John Lewis Home Insurance said: "Despite identity theft being a growing crime, it seems that the advice about how to keep personal information safe just isn't getting through and people are continuing to take worrying risks."
The survey of 2,003 UK residents also revealed the grave risks being taken when people log on to the internet - with one in seven (14%) admitting to using passwords that can easily be guessed, such as '1234', or using the same password across multiple accounts.
Some 13% also admitted to falling for so-called 'phishing scams', where they were asked to click on links emailed to them and to fill in forms asking for personal details.
Nearly half (43%) say they never lock personal details away in a safe place in the home.
John Lewis Home Insurance has responded by issuing the following 'top-tips' on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Don't throw anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first
- Check your bank and credit card statements carefully and report anything suspicious to the financial institution concerned
- If you're expecting a statement and it doesn't arrive, tell your bank or credit card company
- Get regular copies of your credit report from a credit reference agency
- Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software installed
- Make sure you use all the privacy settings available on social networking sites - but don't put too much personal information up there
- Don't ignore bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven't bought or services you haven't asked for - contact the company immediately
- When you register to vote, tick the box to say don't want to be included in the edited electoral register - that means your details can't be sold on
Research was carried out by ICM Research on behalf of John Lewis Home Insurance and surveyed 2,003 UK adults from 25-27 February 2011.
About John Lewis Home Insurance
John Lewis Insurance provides optional ID Theft Cover as part of their Home Insurance policy. If this cover is included in your policy, you'll have access to our Identity Theft Helpline that will provide full assistance and guidance in recovering your identity if it's been fraudulently stolen.
John Lewis Insurance will also pay up to £50,000 to cover costs you have to pay to defend your name and restore your credit status, or any lost wages if you have to take time off work to meet with police or legal counsel.
CONTACT: Email: email@example.com, Tel: +44(0)207-592-5236
SOURCE John Lewis Insurance