Another day, another data breach.
The latest victim of a malicious hack is British Airways, resulting in the exposure of credit card and other customer details to criminals.
The airline has apologised for the security breach, which they describe as sophisticated. They have also promised to fully compensate any customers who lose out as a result.
Around 380,000 customer transactions were affected by the hack, which took place between 22:58 BST on 21st August and 21:45 BST on 5th September.
Of course it’s not only British Airways being targeted by criminal hackers who want to steal your personal data.
A recent study found 292 deliberate cyber incidents reported to the Information Commissioner in the past year, and more than 2,000 reports that could be attributed to human error.
Regardless of where we shop and who we trust with our confidential information, we all need to take proactive steps to keep our personal data secure.
One important step you can take is to regularly check your bank and credit card statements. If you spot any unexpected or unusual transactions, contact your bank or card provider immediately.
UK Finance is also warning consumers to be vigilant of criminals attempting to use the news of the data breach as an opportunity to trick people into revealing personal or financial information.
If you receive a phone call, email or letter claiming to be from your bank and offering to protect your accounts in the wake of the BA data breach news, you need to be 100% sure it is from a genuine source before taking any action.
UK Finance are warning that criminals will often use the publicity around data breaches as a chance to pose as a genuine organisation, including banks, police officers, retailers and telephone or utility companies.
Often the criminal will pretend to be from the impacted company, such as British Airways, or claim they are dealing with an issue resulting from the data breach.
A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. These are all big red flags which suggest criminal intent.
With the BA data breach in the news, consumers are being urged by UK Finance to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign:
• A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
• Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
• Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
If you ever have any concerns about your personal data security or what you believe is an attempted fraud, you should contact your bank directly in the first instance and also report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.