Feeds

A parents' guide to the HMRC data giveaway

Don't panic

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

If you are a recipient of child benefit in the UK, the chances are your records and bank details were included in one of the two CDs that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has lost. HMRC has said we have nothing to fear, despite the fact it doesn't know where these unencrypted CDs are or who has been accessing them.

All the same, APACS, the British banking payments association, is advising people concerned about the situation to ring a dedicated Revenue phone line - 0845 302 1444. APACS reassures parents that "there is no evidence that the lost data has fallen into criminal hands".

The organisation, in an advisory page on its website, said: "The missing data contained sort code and bank account details, national insurance numbers, dates of birth, names and address details, of all families in receipt of child benefit, as well as the names and dates of birth of those children for whom child benefit is payable."

It again claimed that this information, on its own, was insufficient for a fraudster to access your account.

APACS advises people not to close accounts but to look out for dodgy transactions. If you spot such a transaction you should get in touch with your bank. If, however, you receive post suggesting you have opened an account or applied for a card with a company you have had no contact with, possible evidence that your ID has been copied, you should contact the police. APACS' advice is here.

As for finding out what information HMRC has on you, one Register reader told us:

Hi,

I have just spoken to the HMRC helpline, and wanted to know exactly what information relating to me had been lost.

Obviously the could not give me the information over the phone, that would not be secure!

For anyone interested in getting a copy of their information that HMRC are holding, you can write to the address below with a covering letter. This letter should contain your request for the data held about you, plus the following: -Your full name -Address -NI Number -Child Benefit number (if you know it)

It may be prudent to send this letter as a recorded delivery, or a secure delivery method - you would not want this information falling into the wrong hands!

Send to:

RM BP5001, Benton Park View, Long Benton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. NE98 1ZZ

Do it soon, as they may have a sudden increase in requests.

A spokeswoman for HMRC told the Reg: "It's business as usual here. There is no need for people to phone us or their bank. The phoneline (0845 302 1444) has not seen a huge volume of traffic but people are welcome to call if they're worried."

She added that HMRC will be writing to everyone whose information has been lost to apologise. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.