For a period of around a week, information that was input by customers using the website – including names, addresses, emails, sort codes and bank account numbers, though NOT credit or debit card details – had not been encrypted, and therefore was a risk of being seen by others.
TV Licensing said it isn’t aware of anyone’s data actually having been accessed, and it insists there is a “very small” risk of the information having been seen by anyone else. But it is now urgently contacting customers who submitted their bank details during the relevant period and warning them to check suspicious activity on their bank accounts.
See our 30+ Ways to Stop Scams guide for more information on protecting yourself and your data on and offline.
TV Licensing said that between some point on Wednesday 29 August and around 3.20pm on Wednesday 5 September some transactions carried out on its website were not encrypted – ie, they weren’t as secure as they should have been.
It said that some information which may have been input into the website during this period – for example, to set up or amend a direct debit – could have been accessed by others, although they would need to have known there was a vulnerability with the website, and have had knowledge on how to view the data.
It appears that the issue with the website’s security was first flagged by blogger Mark Cook last week.
If you gave any information over the phone, this won’t have been at risk, and TV Licensing says its website is now secure.
I used the site during this period – what should I do?
As a precaution, TV Licensing is suggesting you check your bank account to ensure there aren’t any transactions which you haven’t authorised, and to check your direct debits haven’t been amended in any way.
If you spot any suspicious activity on your account, you should contact your bank or building society immediately.
It’s also worth watching out for phishing scams, where fraudsters use information they have about you to send you correspondence – such as emails and letters – posing as somebody else and trying to gain more information.