DEER PARK, Texas — The claims website the ITC set up for damages may have been open to hackers.

The company said the site is now secure, but it was not always that way. ITC moved quickly to secure its claims website on Wednesday afternoon, minutes after KHOU 11 Investigates began asking questions.

When KHOU checked Wednesday morning, we noticed www.itcclaims.com was not secured, meaning the information of applicants was at risk of being picked up and shared by third parties.

Cyber security expert David Raucher, of CHR Solutions, said there were some potential dangers with using the site. He has been helping to keep companies protected online for more than 20 years.

“I would be very suspicious of this,” Raucher said.

Raucher pointed out, not only did the URL say it is not secure, the http or https, which is standard for a secure internet site, is missing. That "s," Raucher said, encrypts personal information to keep it out of the wrong hands.

The claims site, created on Monday, instructs applicants to print the PDF document, fill it out and then either email or send the form to the listed physical address. But Raucher said sending it electronically may not be safe because It could be intercepted.

“I wouldn't trust it. There's not enough here that tells me exactly what I am doing,” Raucher said.

Raucher said one of the biggest risks is cyber phishing. That is when someone takes your information from an unsecured website and contacts you under a fake address in an attempt get more.

“If ITC has indicated to people we are going to collect this info online, then the people who do phishing are going to hear that also and immediately send out emails,” Raucher said.

A spokesperson said, because the company asked applicants to print the forms and fill them out, their personal information was never at risk.

Raucher said the best way to make sure your information is not compromised is to send it through postal mail.

For a list of best kept practices to use online, tap/click here.

RELATED COVERAGE

EPA: No hazardous levels in air, water samples | Deer Park Fire is out

Manifold leak blamed as initial cause of massive storage tank fire in Deer Park

Deer Park fire: Your questions, answered

ITC creates claims hotline for businesses, residents impacted by tank fire