(WJBK) - Your financial accounts could be at risk of getting in the hands of the bad guys as your information sits right on the Internet -- but local experts say there's something you can do to keep your info safe.
Surf the web with David Derigiotis, who a cyber security expert Burns and Wilcox, and you'll be shocked at what we found surfing a public website. For example, a woman's social security card. How was that woman Social Security card is just sitting out there?
"Think about it like this: A business has to rent out space for my storage unit. They then put all of the contents, the data, in that storage unit and they do not lock it. They leave it wide open so that anybody who happens to come strolling that wants to check can take a look, open up that door and have access to all of that information," he said.
Those buckets that Derigiotis is talking about are out there for the everyone to see. Companies like Amazon rent out space for data storage, but it's up to the companies who use that space to lock up your data. Take a title insurance company that didn't secure this customers informarion. I pulled it up right on my phone.
Roop: "How is someone's check just sitting out there for any bad guy to look at?"
Derigiotis: "That's the problem, it's because organizations are not taking a look at how they're securing or really here not securing the data that they are storing. This is a misconfigured bucket, so they don't have the proper security in place ... instead of it being only private to the organization or the individuals that need it, it's out there for everybody else."
Once the bad guys get your data from a check or from another private document they can move their crime spree into over drive, redirecting money away from where you thought it was going.
"Oh sorry, we need to change where you transfered those funds. Please disregard the other transfer that was made, we need you now to send this to this wire to account," Derigiotis said.
The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself is to get multiple email accounts and know which one to use for what.
"Use a different email address for things you are doing for more sensitive things. Maybe it's banking ... real estate or paying the bills, use a specific email address for that. Don't use it for going on social media, Facebok, or other types of things that you're looking at. The more you spread your email out there, the more of a chance you'll have for it to be compromised," Derigiotis said.