Do you really know if your credit rating is safe when you’re shopping, surfing, communicating and transacting online?  When you understand personal information and how it can be used by fraudsters, you want to do all you can to protect your personal information both online and offline. We look at one of the best things you  can do to stay up to date with threats to your identity and credit file, and ensure you Stay Smart Online.

By Graham Doessel, MyCRA Lawyers  Stay Smart Online Week 2014.

Stay Smart Online - Proud Partner LR

It’s important in our age of technology to be able to confidently engage online.  But it is equally important to be able to stay safe while doing that.

How do you know when you need to update software? Or change a password? When will you know about Security breaches to entities which hold your personal information?

The Australian Government provides a free subscription based service to home internet users and small businesses offering practical advice about security issues and observations which could impact you, your finances, your identity and your credit rating.

The Alert Service provides easy to understand information about the latest internet threats, scams, and other risks, and how they can be recognised and addressed. If you’re using your computer at home (and lets face it – who isn’t?) this is like internet security 101.

We encourage all of our readers to subscribe to this service. It could just save your bacon one day when it comes to internet threats.

Click here to subscribe to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service.

Internet fraud can lead to identity theft and in this situation often your credit file can be misused.

If a fraudster is able to garner enough personal details to get duplicate documents in your name, they not only have your identity – they have access to your credit rating as well.

This means they can take out credit in your name…and if they’re well-versed in this process – it may not be evident your identity is even compromised until you go to take out credit yourself and are refused.

Unravelling the tangled web of identity theft at this point can be at times impossible. And unlike bank or credit card fraud, there’s not always reimbursement to be found. Some victims have found they have had to cop the 5 year default on their credit file, because they don’t understand and therefore can’t prove how the identity theft occurred in the first place.

So our message this week is: take heed, and safeguard your personal information to prevent identity theft and credit file misuse.

For more information on credit file misuse, or to get more help or information about the security of your credit file, visit our main site, or you can contact us on 1300 667 218.