Protect Yourself. Information Security is as important as physical security in today’s digital age. You wouldn’t give a stranger a key to your house, don’t give them a key to your digital identity. Below are some tips and tricks to help guard yourself against those who would love to steal your information.
- Be wary of links included in email, these can look very similar to valid sites, but can have a small variance (i.e. a number 1 could be in place of the letter l) and it could bring you to a spoofed website.
- Be wary of attachments in email. Malware is easily embedded in any sort of attachment. A fun scam people run can look something like this: Victim gets an email from an old college friend that states “Look at this picture of us from college, weren’t we cute”, this picture has been stolen from their social media site and has malware embedded on it. Don’t open, no matter how cute you looked.
- If you receive a Word document via email and it asks you to enable Macros – Just. Say. No. This is a top avenue for malware.
- Gift Card Scams – Older folks may get called with a scenario of urgency on behalf of a family member/grandchild. They will be asked to provide gift cards to get their grandchild out of jail, requesting they keep it a secret so their parents don’t find out they are in trouble. Hang. Up. The. Phone.
- Sweetheart Scams – Someone will build a digital relationship with a victim and eventually start getting money for one reason or another.
- Lottery Check Scams – You have won the Nigerian lottery. Cash this $10,000 check and return a small amount for processing, the victim gets to kept the rest. This results in the victim having to cover the entire check, including the portion they sent back to the Lottery.
- Overpayment Check Scams – Have you sold something on eBay? Did they overpay you? “Oops, just send the overpayment back to me, my error.” The victim of this scam is responsible to pay back the entire amount of the check.