On Wednesday morning, millions of Robinhood users received an email from the financial institution, informing its users about recent phishing campaigns targeting their online traders. Fraudulent emails were blasted out on behalf of the company, attempting to expose user’s login information and important tax documents. The emails contained various links, redirecting the email recipients to fake Robinhood websites. These imitation websites were urging users to:
- Enter their login credentials, including authentication codes or
- Download fake files—like a tax Form 1099—that may contain malware
With 13 million users investing & holding their assets on the platform, this raises a serious concern for online safety and poses significant threats to those who trade online. The company chalked it up as a common thing for this time of year, stating “There tends to be an increase in these types of emails around tax season”. Regardless of the time of year, tax season or not, the recent Robinhood phishing incident gives insight into the many risks associated with online trading and uncovers the responsibility of the individual to protect their confidential information online.
Despite the many risks associated with online trading, there are many ways to ensure that your personal information and assets are completely protected. According to Katy Hebebrand (GoBankingRates.com) “As long as you stay vigilant in protecting your personal information and assets, investing online is perfectly safe”. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your information is protected:
- Be cautious about all communications you receive. ...
- Do not click on any links listed in the email message, and do not open any attachments contained in a suspicious email.
- Do not enter personal information in a pop-up screen. …
- Encrypt your email with an Encrypted Email Provider
Encrypted email is one of the most effective ways to ensure your personal information is protected online. With an encrypted email provider, such as Gold Comet, these fraudulent phishing emails would have never reached your inbox, preventing you from ever falling for these scams and ensuring your highly-confidential information is completely protected. In sum, there have always been risks associated with online trading, or using the internet in general, and these risks are only going to increase in the future. But what used to be the responsibility of the company to protect their users is evidently not sufficient enough in today’s interconnected, digital world. This responsibility has now shifted into the hands of the user, and it’s up to them to implement the level of privacy and protection that they desire online.