Security Threats to Monitor throughout the beginning of the New Year
There is a lot to look out for this holiday season, and into the New Year…and many Grinches want to steal your joy. But, as long as you keep an eye on them, there shall be nothing to worry about!
- Spam – as always. Have you gotten emails from “FedEx” lately or UPS? You know, those fake emails stating you have a package to be tracked, but they need another payment method to process it? Or how about some free or cheap Rolexes? All of these are scammy spam, fraudulent, or just wanting to distribute malware! Remember, if you didn’t order it, don’t believe it! What is spam can also lead to number 2…
- Phishing attacks… as millions of people shop online and shoot up the revenue of online shopping to the billions of dollars, there are also tons of scammers and fraudulent websites wanting your personal data, credit card, or to waste your time. Remember, if it doesn’t look legitimate, or does not have a secure transaction process, it probably is not a good idea to make the purchase (no matter how attractive it looks). Usually, trusted stores are the best to shop from, and that’s all that’s best.
When you go to check out and enter your personal information, first look at the address bar and make sure it highlights green in some area and has the following at the beginning of the web address: https://. By looking for that, or even looking for a padlock icon in the lower right or left corner of the browser will help ensure you have a secure connection where your personal information will be transferred privately.
- Social engineering attempts – you can find these on social networks. They attempt to entice you with different ads or offers, or show a shocking story in attempts to get you to click on it. Once you do, you may be asked to login to Facebook, verify personal information, or make a payment to get access to information.
When it comes to shocking stories, safely ignore them if it didn’t come from what looks like a trusted source. Instead, stay out of trouble and don’t click. “If in doubt, throw it out”, perspectively can be used to help let you think about what you click on. Also, be careful about charity apps. On Facebook, and application called “Causes” is the only legitimately popular app to use for charity donations. Most correct charity ideas are routed through Causes because of how trusted the app is.
- TMI on social networks – be careful about how you tell others about places you’re currently staying, eating, or being by yourself (at the office or at home). Using apps such as Foursquare or related, don’t bother using. They are highly insecure to your personal privacy and can result in burglary or worse.
- ATM skimmers – fake debit or credit card readers are popping up in random ATM machines around major retailers everywhere. Always look closely before swiping your card, or pressing any buttons. If anything seems out of place, loose, or just doesn’t feel right…Don’t swipe your card, don’t press any pin number, etc. If anything seems funky, ask the cashier to run your card under the counter, or just go to a bank.
It’s best also to either tell the bank owning the ATM or call the number on the ATM. Let them know the machine can be modified for illegitimate purposes. Lastly, always spread the word to the cashier that the ATM could be modified and to tell customers not to use it.
- Unprotected computers and tablets… here’s the solutions for those matters:
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