Do you ever feel ready to give up on the internet altogether? With constant news coverage on cyber crime, identify theft and hacking, it’s easy to feel like your information is never truly safe on the web. As an increasing number of insurance companies give consumers the ability to request a quote online, it’s important for you to know how to keep your information safe when shopping for California auto insurance.
Trust Your Instincts
You wouldn’t go into a store at the mall that seems a little “off” to you – so don’t spend time on insurance websites that give you a bad feeling and appear shady. If at any time during the shopping process you feel like the site is asking for too much personal information, discontinue the quote and leave the site immediately. If the site looks like it was designed in the ’90s, has a weird address, or fills your screen with pop-ups, look elsewhere.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi to Shop… Or Your Smart Phone
Anytime you enter personal information using a public network, you’re setting yourself up for identity theft. Most Wi-Fi hotspots don’t encrypt your data, so any hacker at your neighborhood Starbucks or wherever you’re sharing Wi-Fi can basically just pluck your identity out of the air if he has the right software. This applies to cell phones, too, since you’re often using nearby Wi-Fi. Be extra cautious when shopping for quotes using public Wi-Fi and/or your smart phone. If you can, wait to shop until you get home.
Don’t Click on Links in Marketing Emails
If you get a marketing email from a company you don’t know (promising you the best California auto insurancerate around!) rather than clicking on the link in the email, type out the address in your browser to make sure you’re going to the site you think you’re visiting. Many phishing scams involve emails from what seem like legitimate companies and then send you to a phony site where they can gather your information to steal your identity. Visit the site directly and check it out before giving out any personal information.