It’s easy to think you have to follow elaborate lockdown measures to boost your cybersecurity, but in actuality, subtle changes to the way you use the Internet can have a profound effect on your security. Make sure you aren’t committing these four day-to-day mistakes, and you’re already on the road to better cybersecurity.
1. Taking Online Quizzes
With social distancing rules and stay-at-home orders in effect, you may be bored and looking for distractions online. That Facebook quiz seems like a good way to pass the time, but consider the types of questions you’ll have to answer.
- “What is your mother’s maiden name?”
- “What was the name of your first pet?”
- “Where is the name of the street where you grew up on?”
Do these questions ring a bell? They’re often the security questions you need to answer before accessing an online bank account. Publishing the answers publicly to a social media account is like giving fraudsters the keys to these accounts.
2. Clicking without Hovering
Fraudsters aren’t always lurking in your social media accounts. Sometimes, they lie in wait in your inbox. These fraudsters pretend to be banks, online direct lenders, or some other trusted company before they ask you follow a link to sign in.
The problem: the link is predatory. If you fill in your login credentials, you’re giving a fraudster the tools they need to see this account. They may even have what it takes to open fraudulent payday loans online in your name.
Thankfully, avoiding this is simple. Just hover your mouse over a link before you click it. This will show you the destination without having to visit the webpage. For added measure, look to the sender, too. A fraudster can never duplicate a genuine bank or online direct lender’s email address.
3. Sharing Protected Personal Information at the Wrong Time
Sometimes, a financial institution will send you a genuine email to check on your account. You shouldn’t be worried about sharing this info on a legitimate website.
But let’s back up — say you’re only just starting to look for an installment loan. Before you can get the cash you need, you’ll have to fill out an application for installment loans in Texas, Utah, or wherever else you call home.
Here, a financial institution may ask to see your contact information, banking details, Social Security Number. They use this info to gauge your creditworthiness for an installment loan.
This data is the core of your financial identity, so you only ever want to share it when there’s a genuine need to see it. While sharing it on an application is necessary, you shouldn’t divulge these details if you’re just comparison shopping for installment loans in Texas.
Bottom Line: Take it Slow
Anything can sound like a good idea in the heat of the moment, including sharing your personal information when you shouldn’t. But if you give yourself some time to think about how and why you’re sharing it, you’ll be able to catch yourself before you expose confidential data.