In last month’s newsletter, we talked about how you can minimize your risk of identity theft and malicious cyber activity while doing your online holiday shopping. In this month’s issue, we’ll focus on another aspect of the holiday season: that new device you get or give during the holidays. Whether it’s a smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, or another device, check out the below tips to help protect your new technology and secure your personal data.
Cyber Security Newsletters
It’s that time of year again – food, fun, parties, and lots of online shopping. Online shopping can be a savior, allowing you to find the perfect gift while saving time, but it can also end with identity theft, malware on your computer, and other cyber unpleasantness. Rather than letting it ruin your holiday season, you can take a few simple security precautions, and be careful where you shop, to help reduce the chances of you being a cyber victim.
October is not only National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it's also the time to celebrate Halloween, a time of fun, candy, and costumes. Much like trick’r’treaters and other Halloween mischief makers, malware can use ‘costumes’ to disguise what it is and to trick you into installing it. These ‘costumes’ come in many forms but if you know what to look for, you can avoid the tricks.
Maybe you’ve gotten a new credit or debit card in the mail or heard something about the U.S. moving to the “Chip and Signature” or “Chip and PIN” standard. The U.S. is moving toward adopting these standards, and October 1st, 2015, is a major deadline for U.S. payment companies and merchants.
Every day malicious cyber actors compromise websites and post lists of usernames, email addresses, and passwords online. While this can be embarrassing, such as when thousands of government employees email addresses and passwords were exposed during the recent Ashley Madison breach, it also leaves users open to follow-on potential attacks due to password reuse. Password reuse is when someone reuses the same password on multiple websites or accounts. This is a vulnerability when the password is exposed in coordination with other information that identifies who is using the password, such as first and last names, login names, or email addresses.
Every summer, vacationers put their house lights on timers and their mail on hold when they travel away from home. It’s just as important when taking a vacation to take similar precautions with good cyber habits. Many cyber criminals specifically target travelers… Criminals often set online lures to sell fake vacations or tickets. These may be just simple advertisements or sophisticated scams using realistic websites, complete with phone operators that will “assist” you.
Social engineering refers to the methods attackers use to manipulate people into sharing sensitive information, or taking an action, such as downloading a file. Sometimes a social engineer is able to rely solely on information posted online or will sometimes interact with the victim to persuade the victim to share details or perform an action.
More than 200 billion emails are sent and received worldwide each day. That represents a lot of opportunity for phishing scams, in which scammers distribute emails that appear to come from legitimate organizations or individuals and try to entice the recipient into clicking on malicious links or attachments. Spear-phishing is a more targeted type of phishing in which a specific organization or person is the target. The typical goal of phishing attacks is to get the victim to give up sensitive information such as a Social Security number or financial information. Phishing is also used as a way for attackers to get inside an organization’s network for cyber espionage or other malicious activity.
October is not only National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it’s also the time to celebrate Halloween, bringing to mind scary things that are merely figments of our imagination. In the digital world, however, there are many scary things that are not figments of our imagination that we should in fact be worried about. The threats in cyber space are real. One of the most important concerns is malware, short for malicious software. The volume of malware continues to surge, with ransomware infections increasing, malware now targeting mobile devices, and new strands of malware attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in aging automated teller machines (ATMs).
The use of social media has exploded, with 255 million active users on Twitter and more than 1.2 billon on Facebook. Unfortunately, so too have the scams and attacks that target social media. Criminals are taking advantage of the increasing number of users and the enormous amount of information exchanged.