The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has revealed that British students are vulnerable to identity theft and that four out of ten students online (42%) are concerned that personal information available about them online might affect their future employment prospects.
Launching its 2011 Student Brand Ambassador campaign, the ICO said, citing YouGov data, that many students are not adequately protecting themselves against the risk of identity theft. It said 1 in 3 (33%) students who have lived at a previous address while at university still have not arranged the redirection of all their important post to their current university address. Over three quarters (76%) have not checked their credit rating in the last year, and two thirds (66%) have never checked it, allowing suspicious credit applications to go unnoticed.
The 2011 Student Brand Ambassador Campaign is a nationwide project aimed at raising young people’s awareness of information rights. Students at 15 universities across the UK, including Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Ulster, have been recruited to promote the ICO’s work on campus. Tasks involve spreading the word using social media, generating local media coverage and doing promotional work, said the ICO.
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said in tough times, young people are clearly less relaxed about privacy, particularly in relation to information that they post online – but many may not know what they can do about it.