Are You an Unintentional Cyber Criminal?

header_laptopToday’s headlines are full of stories about large scale cyber attacks that result in personal and financial data getting into the wrong hands. while we can’t control the massive databases that have our information, as communicators we can control what we do on a daily basis with the information we gather.

Consider this email I just received about renewing an online subscription:

If you would like to send me the credit card info that would be fine and then I can extend it for another year. I handle all the credit card payments. I would need the card number, exp .date, sec. code, name on card, and the FULL billing address for the card.

Um, no.

Sending (or asking for) this information over an insecure channel like email is a gift to any cyber criminal. It’s a free ticket to charge anything to the card in question, because the person harvesting the message would have all the details needed to complete a transaction.

We need to hope that Congress and large companies do what they need to keep us safe on the large scale of data collection, but we can control what we do every day.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t send IDs and passwords to clients together in an email or save them in a document that is not password protected.
  • Don’t ask for any private information by email or in online forms that are not secure.
  • Don’t send your credit card information by email.

Have more tips? Share them here. Let’s be safe out there!