The 5 Most Dangerous Pieces of Information To Give In An E-mail

In the book Spam Nation, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs revealed the single most effective (and relied upon) way cybercrime rings gain access to your bank account, credit cards and identity. Ready for it? E-mail.

Whether it's opening an attachment infected by a virus, or a phishing scam where you unknowingly give up your login to a critical web site, e-mail still remains the most popular and reliable way digital thieves can rob you blind, steal your identity and wreak havoc on your network. Worst of all? You're INVITING them in! While there are a number of things you need to do to protect yourself, here are five Most Dangerous Pieces of Information To Give In An E-mail that you (and your team) should be aware of:

  1. Your Social Security Number: Think of this as your "bank account" number with the government. You should never e-mail this to anyone because it can be used to open credit cards and steal your identity.
  2. Banking Information: Your bank account numbers, routing number and online banking login credentials should never be e-mailed. Further, avoid sending a voided, blank check as an attachment to an e-mail.
  3. Your Credit Card And/Or Debit Information: NEVER update a credit card via an e-mail!
  4. Login Credentials and Passwords: You should never share your passwords or answers to security questions with anyone for any site, period.
  5. Financial Documents: An ATTACHMENT that includes any of the above is just as dangerous to e-mail as typing it in. Never e-mail any type of financial documents (or scans of documents) to your CPA, financial advisor, bank, etc.

Remember: Banks, credit card companies and the government will never ask you to click a link to provide them with any of the five items above. If you get an e-mail requesting you to update any of the above information, there's a good chance it's a phishing e-mail from a hacker. Don't be fooled!

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