Wonga, the pay-day loan company has become the latest high-profile company to become the victim of a data breach, affecting over 250,000 of their customers. Whilst the specifics of the hack are still unknown Wonga have said that personal data accessed “may have included one or more of the following: name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, the last four digits of your card number (but not the whole number) and/or your bank account number and sort code.”

Although Wonga don’t believe that bank accounts have been accessed they have advised vigilance, which isn’t surprising. However, this breach is significant because the data in question is of a financial nature. Imagine, over time, as copies of your personal information is bought and sold on both legitimate and black markets it gradually becomes a “fill in the blanks” exercise more than trying to paint the entire picture of a person. The addition of a bank account number and sort-code creates an entirely new avenue for criminals to pursue in terms of building future social engineering campaigns.

You should start to develop a sense of your personal cyber security that becomes second nature. There is no harm in being proactive: Use strong passwords, with a different password on every website (there is no such thing as a “not important website”). If the website offers Two-Factor Authentication then consider using it. Beware of scammers on the phone, just hang up if you’re not 100% sure to whom you are speaking. Check your credit score frequently, and regularly review your financial statements for unusual activity. And finally, be very careful about what you click on in your emails. So few emails these days actually require action to be taken – don’t be coerced into clicking on something when you could just pick up the phone.