7 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information
We’ve all heard about phone and email scams, where hackers try to gain access to your personal information by posing as a company you do business with. With these scams on the rise, we wanted to share 7 tips to keep your information safe and secure so you don’t become a victim of a phishing scam.
1. Think before you click on links! Be cautious of emails asking you to confirm personal or financial information by following a link, even if it’s a company you recognize. Companies will not ask you to enter or verify sensitive data via email.
2. When entering sensitive data, make sure you’re using secure websites only. To tell if a site is “safe” or not, check the URL. It must begin with https:// and your browser should have a closed lock icon indicating it’s secure. The “s” in “https” stands for secure. Our customers can rest assured that Dead River Company’s website is a secure site!
3. Keep your computer up to date. Security updates are continually being made and are released weekly. You may want to think again before ignoring that “Update Available” message! Check out our blog post about what you need to know about outdated browsers and your online security.
4. Check your online accounts and bank statements regularly. This will ensure no unauthorized transactions have been made. If you notice something strange, contact your bank immediately. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team provides more information if you think you’ve been involved in a phishing attack.
5. Beware of phone phishing schemes. Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you are the one that initiated the call. If a company is calling you directly regarding your account, they should have your account information.
6. Don’t fall victim to utility scams. Recent scams have been focusing on utility companies, knowing the threat of losing heat, hot water, or electricity can make consumers an easy target. But don’t readily offer up payment information without understanding who is calling. Call the company using the phone number on your bill to verify if they called and check your balance. The Federal Trade Commission’s recent article on utility scams offers great advice for avoiding this type of situation.
7. Don’t answer unknown callers. If you don’t recognize the phone number calling you, don’t answer. If it’s someone or something important, the caller will leave a voicemail or send you a text message if they need to get ahold of you.
It’s best to be cautious, both online and over the phone, especially if you’re feeling uneasy about the situation. For information on the most recent scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Scam Alert website.