Security > Safeguarding your data > Protecting your accounts and your identity
What is "phishing”?
A phishing attack is an online fraud technique that involves sending official-looking email messages with return addresses, links and corporate branding that appear to come from banks, retailers, credit card companies and other legitimate businesses. These emails typically contain a hyperlink to a spoof website. The goal is to mislead account holders to enter confidential information and security details like user names and passwords on the pretext that some of your information must be updated or changed. Once you provide this information, the cyber criminals can access legitimate sites and steal your money.
It is important to be suspicious of emails asking for your confidential information. Voya and other reputable companies will never ask you for your personal information by email. Information that should not be provided by email includes your Social Security number, date of birth, bank account number and user name and password.
If you receive a suspicious email bearing Voya’s name, do not click on any links in the email and immediately forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imitating Voya web sites
Voya monitors the internet to find imitation web sites. These are often the first step made by scam artists. We work with the appropriate international authorities to get these web sites closed down as quickly as possible, sometimes on the same day. Imitation sites are only a concern if you reached them through an email or website link. When you type in Voya’s URL address (Voya.com) directly into your web browser, you can be assured of reaching our legitimate site.
You may already have heard of advanced-fee fraud. In this instance, emails offering the recipients large sums of money are sent to thousands of email addresses. A modest fee is required to cover legal costs, open an account or pay customs’ charges. Sometimes, the money offered is the result of a lottery even though you never bought a ticket. Other times, the money is held in an account overseas but the account owner cannot access it. The cyber criminals promise a percentage of the money in return for your help. In both cases, various fees have to be paid right away.
Do not respond to these emails. They are part of a fraud and you will not receive any of the promised money.
We warn our customers because the criminals committing these frauds do, on occasion, use the name of Voya or an Voya affiliate as part of this scam.
Verifying web sites
Customers can verify that the web page they are entering is secure by following these guidelines:
The URL will begin with https://
- Look for the https on every page to ensure your entire session is encrypted – not just the login page
- The application window will specify that SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is in use
Take care of your personal information
Your account numbers, customer number, PIN number, password and other personal information are the keys to your account. Never write them down, give them to anyone else or include them in an email. Destroy documents containing personal information securely, and be very cautious about posting personal details on social networking sites on the internet. Criminals can use this information to commit fraud. Remember that protecting your personal information is responsibility only you can control.
- Utilize a unique password for each site where you maintain an account
- Don’t allow social networking sites to memorize your passwords
- Avoid writing down passwords
- Don’t share your password with anyone
- The strongest passwords are comprised of a chain of four unrelated common words
Take care of your computer and mobile devices
- Update your computer by installing the latest software and patches to prevent hackers or viruses from exploiting any known weaknesses on your computer.
- Install and update virus protection to protect your computer and to prevent hackers from installing Trojan viruses on your computer.
- Install and update anti-spyware tools. Spyware is computer software that is installed on your computer without your consent to collect personal information or interfere with your computer in various ways.
- Install and update personal firewalls. A firewall is a hardware or software device that regulates the flow of information between computers and is often included in operating systems.
- Use only programs from a known, trusted source.
- Backup your important files on a regular basis and store the backups in a secure place.
Beware of spam emails
Spam emails are messages that are sent simultaneously to thousands of email addresses from an unfamiliar sender.
- Use a spam filter to avoid seeing these messages.
- Never respond to a spam message, your email address is then recorded as live and the spam will increase.
- Should you read a spam message remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
If you received unsolicited email offers or spam, send the messages to email@example.com.