UK child benefit data lost

HMRC [Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs] has mislaid two disks containing personal data on large numbers of people in the UK. It seems the disks became lost in transit between HMRC and the National Audit Office. The disks contain data on Child Benefit recipients and, according to a BBC report the Chancellor of the Exchequer puts the
number affected at ’25 million individuals and 7.25 million families’.

Anyone concerned about the potential impact of this data loss can find advice on the web site of APACS, the UK payments association.

APACS has pointed out that ‘sort code and bank account, national insurance number, date of birth, name and address details are not enough in themselves for an ID fraudster to access your bank account – as additional security information and passwords are always required’

Nevertheless, this data would represent an attractive haul for cyber criminals and provide a range of essential building-blocks needed to build up a comprehensive profile on potential victims.

You can find some basic guidelines for staying safe online here.

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