(KXNET) — Cybercriminals target your hard-earned money every single day, and their tactics change each day as well.

Cyber security comes in all forms, from extortion to identity fraud, but the easiest and most common way thieves get your information is by “phishing.”

Phishing is when a criminal creates emails or messages pretending to be a reliable company in order for you to click the link and give them your personal information, like credit cards and passwords.

“If your bank account or any company for that matter, if they want you to take action, don’t click on the link in the email go to the actual website and search it up for yourself and find out for yourself,” said Minot State University Cyber Security Student, Sam Aannerud.

The simplest and most effective way to make sure this email is legitimate is to get in contact with the real company the scammer is posing as.

And to double-check to see if their messages or emails are legitimate.

“Also you could report it if you know for a fact one is not legitimate, report it and hopefully your email will sort better,” added Aannerud.

Another way you can avoid these threats is by making sure your email and apps are all updated to the most current version.

“Always make sure you have the latest thing and don’t just install but also kind of read through it, or find a summary of what’s being updated or installed so you are always in the know,” stated Minot State University Cyber Security Student, Cameron Abel.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that nine million identities are stolen each year and most of them stem from cybersecurity risks.

Experts say to make sure every account you have has a different password. This will make your information harder to steal.