Protect yourself while using the Internet

TOPEKA, KS —  The use of the Internet has revolutionized our daily lives. We keep informed, keep entertained, do research, buy goods and services (including insurance), do other financial transactions, and even play games.

However, such widespread use of personal information and communication should come with an increased awareness that our personal lives and data can be viewed by unscrupulous computer hackers.

At the Kansas Insurance Department, we routinely go through cybersecurity checks to make sure that any insurance information of our Kansas citizens and insurance companies who serve them is as secure as it can be. While we use some sophisticated procedures to make sure that information is safe, you as an Internet individual consumer can take some common sense action to make sure your personal data is secure.

Following are several considerations about Internet safety that we encourage you to follow.

  • Use common sense. Posting personal information on public sites could be an invitation for criminals to steal information and pose as you. Make sure you use privacy settings to keep your information private.
  • When entering an address for a website, be sure to spell it correctly. Even typing in one incorrect letter could lead to a site that, while appearing legitimate, is an illegal data mining portal.
  • Be wary of websites and emails that look to recruit others, receive money or advance payments. The old saying that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is useful to repeat after reading these types of offers.
  • Don’t open unknown attachments or click on unknown links.
  • Look for website addresses that begin with https://. The “s” stands for “secure.” Also, there should be a padlock symbol in the browser window when you attempt to login. If you do not see those, do not enter any personal information into that site.
  • Back up your data regularly, and use anti-virus software that is current.
  • Look carefully at the entries from any browser search. Make sure that you get exactly what your search indicates.
  • Banking, shopping for insurance or shopping for other goods and services should be done on a device that belongs to you. The information you type on a public computer; by using free Wi-Fi access; or by using a friend’s computer or mobile device, could be stolen.
  • Visit the security and privacy settings or the “help” area of your browser website to check your ability to manage your settings.
  • Remember to log out of a secure website after you have completed your transaction. Just closing the browser might not log you out.

Cybersecurity experts have said that 2016 could see increased nationwide computer data breaches and illegal activities. I urge you to protect your computer activities, whether for insurance or personal data.

Source: Kansas Insurance Department



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