During the holidays, malicious actors are looking to profit off individuals doing their shopping online and attackers may send emails with attachments or links to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. These bad actors are constantly finding new ways to trick individuals so it's crucial to stay informed about the dangers of scamming and phishing while arming yourself with essential cybersecurity tips.
Recognizing the Dangers:
Scammers often pose as legitimate businesses or people you know in an attempt to deceive you. These scammers will use enticing emails or text messages with tempting offers or emotional appeals. To protect yourself, always be skeptical of unsolicited requests for personal information or financial assistance. Many of these phishing attempts will have inaccuracies to help you spot the scam, the following are common in phishing messages:
- Email address will be close but not spelled correctly
- Misspellings and typos within the body
- Pressure to act quickly
Cybersecurity Tips for a Safe Holiday Season:
- Keep your devices and software updated to ensure you have the latest security patches.
- Use strong, unique passwords for your accounts and consider using a password manager to keep track of them in a secure manner.
- Use multi-factor authentication where available.
- Getting a new phone over the holidays? Make sure to enroll your new phone into Duo by following the add a new phone for Duo instructions →
- Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments, especially in unsolicited emails.
- Double-check the sender's email address and verify the legitimacy of the message.
Keeping this information in mind will ensure that your holiday season remains safe from cybercriminals seeking to exploit your joy and generosity.