Online Fraud and Identity Theft Workshop 

Simon Dukes (CEO, Cifas) 

Nudes, dick pics, you name it, it has been covered… I am talking about the Blurring Boundaries conference held at the University of Suffolk of course. In addition to sexting, a number of topical and serious issues affecting the online lives of young people were brought to light throughout the morning sessions. Most importantly, practitioners, academics and students from all walks of life engaged in debate and conversation around how best to empower young people to remain safe in the ever-expanding online world. 

It is the afternoon sessions of the conference; people move swiftly into the Waterfront Auditorium for a talk led by Simon Dukes, CEO of Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. As an online fraud and identity theft novice, I go with it, naïve and not quite knowing what to expect, notepad at the ready. The talk begins with a gentle introduction to identity theft, including the rather terrifying fact that identity fraud victims under the age of 21 has increased by 34%! So ‘how do we go about stopping this!?’ I hear you say… well Simon has some excellent top tips, which I will share with you, right here, right now…

1. Check your privacy settings, and although you’ve probably heard that a zillion times, YouTube the Cifas ‘Data to Go’ video, you will never look at a free cup of coffee in the same way.  

2. Install anti-virus, and be careful on free public Wi-Fi, these can easily be mimicked! 

3. Be creative and complex with your passwords.

4. Think Link… ever got those phishing emails from fake Amazon or iTunes email accounts asking you to pay your bill by clicking on a dodgy link? Yeah, nice try fraudsters!

Simon finishes gracefully with a quote from Mitch Ratcliffe:

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequila.”

Brilliant. Note to self: Ok, first and foremost, protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity fraud, oh and next time you’re venturing into Ipswich town centre on a Saturday night, lay off the Tequila!

online fraud