Last month, telecommunications company TalkTalk was hit by a cyber-attack, meaning that some customers’ details could have been compromised.
Customers affected by this attack are currently being contacted by TalkTalk and they’re being assured that none of their card details were accessed.
However, this isn’t the only thing to consider when your personal details have been stolen – you might also be concerned about identity theft. If you’re worried, you could benefit from free alerts for your credit report from Noddle for a limited time, which will let you know if any credit accounts are being opened in your name.
The part of the TalkTalk site that was accessed by hackers wasn’t the bit where your card details are stored – all they’ll have seen was a line of Xs instead of any numbers. This means that they won’t be able to use your details to steal your money or buy anything using your account.
But hackers could have been able to get hold of your personal details, such as your name and address, your date of birth and any email addresses or phone numbers that TalkTalk had saved on its system. This means they could potentially use your details to commit identity theft, where your information is used to apply for bank accounts, take out credit cards or loans or take control of your existing credit accounts.
Checking your file
Spotting identity fraud is one reason why it makes sense to check your credit report regularly. You should keep up-to-date with any information that’s held about you concerned with how you manage credit, and you’ll be able to see any problems as they arise – such as an application for credit that you didn’t make appearing on your history.
You’ll also be able to notice if there are any errors – such as an incorrect CCJ or default – that could affect your ability to be accepted for credit in the future. If you only check your credit report just before you make an application for credit then mistakes could go unnoticed for months or even years.
You can apply for a credit report with any of the three main credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax or CallCredit. If you apply through Experian or Equifax, you’ll be able to get a 30-day free trial, so remember to cancel before this time if you don’t want to pay subscription fees. You can sign up for your Equifax credit report though ClearScore to get free access. For CallCredit, your credit report is free for life through Noddle.
For TalkTalk customers, the telecoms company has partnered with Noddle to give a year of credit alerts for free. These will send you a notification if anything major has changed on your file, like if any credit accounts have been opened – it usually costs £20 for these alerts.
To benefit from these free alerts, you just need to visit the Noddle Alerts section while you’re logged into your Noddle account – this is located in Fraud Prevention. You then need to click ‘Get Noddle Alerts now’ and type in the discount code TT231 to get the credit monitoring alerts added to your account for free for 12 months.
Don’t rely on these credit alerts alone – it’s still a good idea to manually check if there’s anything wrong with your report. Not everything shows up on the alerts, so make sure you take the time at least once a month to sign in and see if anything’s changed – and if you need to do anything about it.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.