TalkTalk cyber-attack – how to stay safe

TalkTalk

Just about anyone based in and around the UK will now have heard about the unfortunate news with the TalkTalk cyber-attack, the UK based ISP suffered a cyber-attack on Wednesday 21st October 2015. On this unfortunate day TalkTalk released the news that due to a “significant and sustained cyber-attack” on their website, current and former customer details may have been stolen. These details as we are finding out would be made up of personal and banking information.

To help keep people safe here are some tips and tricks to try and stay safe:

Change your TalkTalk password

Online security best practices are to ensure that you use a different password for each website you visit. If you use the same password on the TalkTalk website as you do for other accounts it is strongly recommended that you change them all.

As of writing the TalkTalk “My Account” page is currently offline, keep checking this site frequently and once you see it available again log in and change your password to something unique and should be changed to a complex one which is made up of upper and lower case, alphanumeric and special characters.

To ensure you use a strong password you can use sites such as: https://strongpasswordgenerator.com/ as well as using password managers such as https://lastpass.com/ to ensure you keep all your new strong passwords safe and secure.  Password managers allow you to keep all your passwords in once place without you having to remember them all.

Keep an eye on your bank account

It has been suggested that partial bank account information may have been accessed from the breach, although this isn’t enough to drain your bank account, malicious cold calls described below may aid in this.

Malicious attacks / criminals usually start to withdraw small amounts of money from the account first and then slowly increase the amount. For the first few months you should keep an eye on your accounts just to be safe.

If you do see any unusual activity in your account then contact your bank as well as notifying the Action Fraud line on 0300 1232040 immediately.

Beware of malicious scam cold calls

Scam cold calls relating to the TalkTalk cyber-attack have been making the news recently, be careful when you receive any calls that are apparently from TalkTalk. TalkTalk personnel will never ask you for your personal information such as your password, pin or account number as well as noting relating to your bank.

If you do take the call, make sure that your get a reference number and then hang-up and call back on 0870 444 1820, this will ensure that you know you are speaking to the correct company and are safe to continue talking about your account.

Keep up with the latest news

Keep checking the TalkTalk website and social media streams to make sure you are kept in the loop about what’s happening. Never click on any TalkTalk related website links that ask you for your personal or bank information, always manually click on the link to the TalkTalk website.

Credit Monitoring

TalkTalk are apparently offering a free years’ worth of credit monitoring, this will help you ensure that your identity and credit is kept safe or give you early notice of something malicious. TalkTalk will be sending further information about this service to all customers over the course of the coming days.

Further information

• TalkTalk: http://help2.talktalk.co.uk/oct22incident
• Action Fraud: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

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