Protecting your personal information

Personal information includes your first and last name, passport data (number, series, copy of passport), and passwords for accessing various services and electronic wallets. The following should also be considered as personal information:

  • your phone number,

  • phone numbers of your relatives,

  • your home address,

  • your age and date of birth,

  • your place of work (if you are employed), or your school and class (if you are a student),

  • and any other information that can be used to find you or your relatives.

You choose what information to give about yourself. Nobody can force you to show your passport or give your real name on the internet. Some sites (for example, online stores) need to know the truth about you, but whether or not to disclose your personal information is always up to you. If you aren't sure that a website can be trusted with your personal information, it's best not to trust it.

It's important to keep in mind that if a site isn't protected well enough, hackers could gain access to the personal information you sent to the site.

  1. How personal information gets stolen
  2. Main recommendations for data protection

How personal information gets stolen

Hackers can use a variety of deceptive tactics to get your password or other personal information from a website. Here are the most common methods for stealing a password:

  • Phishing emails. A fraudster sends you an email, pretending to be from a website, social network, or bank. The email asks you to click on a link, which then sends you to a fake site where your password is requested. The password entered on the fake site is intercepted and falls into the hands of the fraudsters.

  • Phone calls from fraudsters. Fraudsters often pretend to be operators, bank employees, etc. They might ask you to provide your password or other personal information over the phone.

  • A scammer can find your passwords on computers, phones, memory cards, or notes that you throw away or leave unsecured.

  • Your password can be intercepted if you dictate it over the phone.

  • A site offers you to cheat a bank or payment system, earn without investment, gain access to someone else's SMS messages, and so on. Most of these services simply harvest personal information and do not provide any services.

  • Hackers are able guess your password if it's too simple (like "qwerty123"), and also the answer to your security question, if it's easy enough to find (for example, somewhere on your social network profile).

Main recommendations for data protection

Be careful when using the internet. Please keep in mind that it is primarily your responsibility to protect your personal data, bank accounts, and other data saved on your computer.

  • Don't launch suspicious programs that you get from people you know or unknown sources, especially if the program was downloaded from a website that distributes illegal content (hacked programs, unlicensed movies, or music).

  • Do not write down your account numbers or other personal information in easily accessible places.

  • Do not dictate secret information over the phone (bank card number, prepaid card password, and so on).

  • Do not enter passwords in unusual login forms (for example, in email text fields).

  • Before entering your password, make sure that the correct website address is entered in your browser's address bar. Fake registration forms are often placed on websites with addresses that look very similar to real ones (for example, yanclex.com instead of yandex.com).

  • Do not ignore browser warnings about certificate problems or pop-up ads.

  • Be careful when working on computers that are not your own, for example, in an internet cafe. Don't check the remember password box if the computer is used by other people. Always log out from sites that you are logged into on another computer. Most sites provide a special link for this, such as Quit or Log out. Close the browser when you are finished.

  • If your home computer is used by several people, use different operating system profiles for them.

  • Do not store scanned copies of documents, such as passports, in your email client and do not upload them to the public domain. Copies of documents are often required as proof of identity on the internet: if your email account is hacked, hackers can use any copies of your documents they find without your knowledge. If an email with this type of data is saved in the "Sent", "Deleted", or "Drafts" folders, hackers are also able to access it.

  • Don't send your passwords in plain text via email, messengers, or SMS.

  • Scan all downloaded files with your antivirus software.

  • Use antivirus software to regularly scan removable disks, flash cards and other storage devices that you connect to other people's computers.