4 ways to protect your personal information online

April 10, 2020 | SECURA Insurance

Protecting your personal information is crucial when it comes to your online presence. Unfortunately, hackers are getting creative and tricky with their approaches to obtain your personal information.

Gone phishing

One of the most popular methods hackers use to gain access to personal information is through the phishing approach. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails appearing to be from a reputable company to try and gather personal information. Phishing schemes are commonly done through email. You may receive what you believe to be a credible email, coming from a credible source, but as soon as you click the “informational” attachment or link,  you have given the computer authority to download malicious software onto your device without even knowing it. Luckily, with the awareness and proper precautions this can be avoided easily.

What are some precautions to keep in mind?

Beware of online requests for personal information. Do not click suspicious links and do not enter any of your information unless you are 100% aware that your information will be secure and that it is coming from a credible source.

Acknowledge and check where it is coming from.  Hackers are sneaky, and it can be hard to tell what is legitimate and what is not. A simple way to double check links is to hover over the URL, but do not click on it. This will bring up a window providing the web address or where it would lead to if clicked on. If the link looks suspicious, it most likely is.

Watch for errors. Legitimate emails go through an extensive review process prior to being sent. There should be no spelling or grammatical errors. If you see any, that is a red flag that the message is not legitimate, and you should immediately delete the email.

Emails that promote urgency. This is a common approach hackers take. By insisting urgency the receiver may feel the need to provide information without fully being aware if the source is legitimate or not. Credible sources typically do not say “act now.” It is important to delete these types of emails.

Keep these tips in mind as you are active online to keep your personal information safe.