A crime report has recently been conducted which involves 2 million people from the UK. It showed that the leaking of personal information is one of the main ways that people conduct identity fraud. It is estimated that 90 percent of the personal information that is illegally traded on the Internet involves people’s username and passwords for various online services.
Those who have been the victim of identity fraud can often have a great deal of trouble because their credit history can be destroyed, as people take out false loans in their name and do not make any repayments.
It is often the case that many of these victims are unaware that their identity has been stolen until they apply for a loan and are turned down. Unsure of why they have been turned down when they think their credit history is good, they later discover that someone has been stealing their identity to borrow money.
It seems that in the last few months, a great deal of password information has been released. Just recently, Yahoo suffered a massive leak with nearly half a million login credentials being released by the company.
The problem is when this information is released, it is often not just a problem for people using the service which has been broken into. People often use the same username and password for different accounts, so a hacker who has the information for one login service, will often find they are able to get access to other user accounts.
A representative from Microsoft, Eric Doer has commented, “It is very important that people realise the importance of using unique passwords when they sign up for new services. Criminals have very sophisticated methods of using login details elsewhere, and this is something that users can combat by using different details for every service they sign up for.”