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7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Online Phishing Attacks

By June 21, 2016Blog

What is phishing? Phishing is a when a hacker or other malicious person poses as a legitimate company on the Internet and asks for your personal or financial information. Online phishing is at an all-time high and will continue to rise as technology advances; 37.3 million people experience phishing situations every year in the United States. It can seem scary if you do not know how to identify a potential phishing attack. Some people fall victim for the bait because they were not looking closely into the situation, so read on to learn what to look out for to protect yourself from online phishing attacks.

1. Don’t Fall for Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are the number one way these attacks occur. In an email, you may receive information that appears to be legitimate from a company, but look closely. These emails can be difficult to tell apart from an official email from the company because most of the information will be correct, but there will always be something wrong. To prevent yourself from becoming a victim via email, check the sender’s email address and the information they provide about you. Your account information may be wrong, and even your name could be incorrect. Don’t click on any links in a suspicious email, and never put sensitive information in an email reply unless you’re absolutely sure who you’re communicating with.

2. Regularly Check Your Bank Account

Regularly checking your bank account can save you a lot of trouble in terms of phishing. If you notice something wrong with your account, call your bank immediately and discuss these matters. The sooner you notify the proper authorities, the sooner the issue can be handled and the better chance you have of tracking the person accessing your accounts without your permission. Informing your bank is the best thing to do, especially with identity theft being a common result of phishing. The sooner the illegal activity is caught, the easier it will be to stop the activity and keep your finances on track.

3. Other Phishing Instances

Phishing attacks do not only occur with bank accounts. Your personal information can be accessed many different ways, including through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or other sites that hold your personal information like subscription services or PayPal. Act as though any information you put on social media is available to everyone. Be careful about sharing your personal information on the Internet. It is easier than you think for a malicious person to falsely pose as a legitimate website or break into an account to gain access to personal information, so only provide sensitive information when you’re sure you’re on a reputable site.

4. Manage Your Passwords

It might be annoying to do, but there are plenty of good reasons to change your passwords frequently, and to make sure they’re strong. Some people use the same password for all of their online accounts, but this can cause big problems in the event one account gets hacked. If many of your accounts use the same login information, a security breach on just one account becomes a security emergency for all of them. A low-importance account without much personal information quickly becomes the master key for a hacker to gain access to any other accounts using the same password. If you have trouble remembering passwords, try using a password keeper like LastPass or Dashlane. These kinds of services remember all of your passwords so you don’t have to, enabling you to use a different password for each of your online accounts and ensuring hackers can’t gain access to everything by breaching one website.

5. Make Sure You’re Covered

Many years ago, concerns about hackers and security breaches were only something that the local business only read about in the newspapers or heard about by other media. This was something that only affected large national companies. But now virtually every business has entered the digital age with their own website, and vital client, prospect, and employee information that is now stored in their own computer server at their office. And as we now read the media and trade journals, we have now found that hackers and data breach thieves can and will access most any business.

So with this cheerful thought, here are some insurance coverage areas that every business owner needs to review in their insurance program.

1.     First Party Protection

a. Loss of Digital Assets

b. Non-physical Business Interruption

c. Cyber Extortion

d. Cyber Terrorism

2.     Third Party

a. Network Security and Privacy Liability

b. Employee Privacy Liability

c. Electronic Media Liability

6. Update Your Computer’s Security

You should invest in advanced security for your computer. Phishing allows hackers to access your personal information, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other identifying information. This is the perfect storm for identity theft. A good anti-virus software can help to keep you out of harm’s way.

7. Trust Your Gut

Most of the time, your gut feeling is not wrong. In this instance, if you feel something is not right about an email, friend request, or some other form of communication, do not risk it. There are many different ways of getting your information and using it without your permission through phishing techniques. If you have a bad feeling about something, your gut is probably telling you right.

It is good to seek the advice of your agent should you have any questions or concerns. To learn more about Ramey King, what we do, and how our services can be of benefit to you, give us a call today. You can reach a Ramey King Insurance agent at 800-453-9691, by emailing or by filling out the quick and easy form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!