Step 7

Avoid sharing sensitive information.

Unless absolutely necessary, do not share sensitive information such as bank account information, credit card numbers, or social security numbers in emails or text messages—even if you trust the person or group receiving these messages. While your accounts may never be hacked, your friends’ and family members’ accounts could be—and you want to make sure that your sensitive information is not swept up in the process.

Below is a list of personal sensitive information you should avoid sharing if at all possible.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

  • Name, such as full name, maiden name, mother‘s maiden name, or alias
  • Personal identification number, such as social security number (SSN), passport number, driver’s license number, taxpayer identification number, patient identification number, and financial account or credit card number
  • Address information, such as street address or email address
  • Asset information, such as Internet Protocol (IP) or Media Access Control (MAC) address or other host-specific persistent static identifier that consistently links to a particular person or small, well- defined group of people
  • Telephone numbers, including mobile, business, and personal numbers
  • Personal characteristics, including photographic image (especially of face or other distinguishing characteristic), x-rays, fingerprints, or other biometric image or template data (e.g., retina scan, voice signature, facial geometry)
  • Information identifying personally owned property, such as vehicle registration number or title number and related information
  • Information about an individual that is linked or linkable to one of the above (e.g., date of birth, place of birth, race, religion, weight, activities, geographical indicators, employment information, medical information, education information, financial information).


Other Steps:

Step 6

Step 8