Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays are a time for many to gather with family (this year, over the internet) and enjoy the spirit of the season. New Year’s Eve is a time to watch the ball drop and maybe have a party (again, this year’s celebration will be virtual). The days between December 25 and January 1? You might be headed back to work, or you might have those days off… and you might be spending a lot of hours online.
That makes this a great time to review some basic internet safety precautions. Let’s start with phishing, a topic many businesses pay close attention to, including us here at Hastings Mutual. Phishing is a tactic used by hackers to collect personal information by sending what looks like legitimate email but is instead a way to collect other email addresses, financial information, and passwords. There are often little details in a phishing email you can look for that give it away. Things like:
A recent report on the most common passwords reveals that easy-to-remember passwords are also the easiest to hack. Here’s the top 25 most often used passwords from this year — if you’re using any of these, change them as soon as you can!
“Senha” is the Portuguese word for “password.” Easy-to-guess passwords are a concern in every language. Also take a look at these tips from our cyber security partners.
It’s recommended that your passwords are at least 15 characters (letters, numbers, and symbols) long, especially for private information like bank accounts.
Your children likely have more days off this holiday season than you do. And they’ll probably be spending those days off reading, playing games, and watching videos — all online.
Many quality websites are available for children for education and games. Your local school or library probably has suggestions for sites that are safe from would-be thieves or attackers. At the same time, extremely popular video games, like so many other sites, often save financial information used to pay for subscriptions to the game or purchases of items in the game. That puts your data at risk, just as if the game was a shopping website exposed to hackers.
The guidelines that apply to websites you visit are true for the websites your children use, too. You might use a computer for email, business, games, or all of those. Paying attention to phishing and using secure passwords will help you stay safe online.Questions? Let us know in the comments.
The Mutual Understanding blog and Hastings Mutual videos are made available for educational purposes only. The information referred to is not an official company statement, corporate policy, or offer of coverage. Refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage. There is no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Please contact your local independent insurance agent with further questions and for more details on any insurance policy-related information you read here.
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Identity theft is a risk everyone takes on the internet.
It’s an old cliché but it’s a good rule for the internet: If it looks too good to be true, it is.
Prevent damage to your finances and your reputation with a few simple steps.
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