Protect your email; protect your identity

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 22 2014 09:27:41 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2014 07:20:00 AM EST

Almost everybody has one, but according to the Federal Trade Commission, email is the most common way scammers attack us.  Last year, email databases at LivingSocial and Evernote were hacked, putting nearly 100-million emails and passwords at risk. 

Since nearly everything is done by email these days, it provides a gateway for identity thieves to get their hands on a variety of information. But still, many people take unnecessary risks with their emails.  We have three things to avoid.

Checking your email on an unsecure network, in places like an airport or coffee shop, can let scammers use malware to steal your information.

Don’t fall for guaranteed loan or credit card offers.  Often, they’re just ways to get your information. Don’t click on the links, and delete them right away.

Never reply to emails asking you to verify your information — if a bank, post office, or even the IRS need to verify anything, they won’t do it by email.

A general rule of thumb: don’t click on links from people you don’t personally know.  Scammers have used fake charities, credit card purchases, and airline deals to get people to follow a link. Even if the email is from a friend, if it’s really vague, you should be wary.