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Be careful about submitting personal information to websites

Priority Level: 
Moderate
30 May 2016

Concerns over protecting personal information provided to websites have come into focus due to reports that Cabcharge risked exposing its customers' personal data through an unsecured online database.

It has been reported by several media sources that US-based security research company, Risk Based Security, discovered the fault and reported it to Cabcharge. This has been verified in a statement by Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton that up to 3,443 customers have been affected.

You are advised to carefully consider the consequences of disclosing personal information, such as your name, address and credit card details, to any website. You should read websites' terms and conditions as well as their privacy policies and consider the potential risks before submitting your data. These risks could include potentially embarrassing public disclosure, financial loss or identity theft.

Staying safe

If you choose to provide personal information to websites:

  • Do your research and shop around—for example, check online for reviews or comments about the website or business behind it.
  • Only deal with trusted or reliable websites. Know who you are dealing with and check that the contact details you have are correct.
  • Check the terms and conditions of using the website, in particular how it deals with personal information.
  • Be aware that the website may retain personal information even if you deactivate your account.
  • Do not provide more personal information than is strictly required by the website.
  • Keep records of all interactions with the website.
  • If the website requires you to make a payment, only pay via a secure web page that has a valid digital certificate.
  • Use a secure payment method.

More information

Stay Smart Online has information on how to protect your identity and buying and selling online.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.