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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Cybersecurity Awareness
October 22, 2020
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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Cybersecurity AwarenessOctober is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so it is timely to get a reminder on the latest on cybersecurity risks and ways to avoid them.
Watch out for these dangers lurking in the corners of our everyday digital lives.
Scammers can get to you right through that small screen in your hand – your smartphone. Consumers tend to be less wary in social media channels, and scammers take shocking advantage of that fact.
Scam reports show that of consumers who said they were exposed to a scam on social media, a whopping 91% engaged with the scammer and 53% of them lost money. Security analysts report that over half of all social media logins are fraudulent, and one-fourth of new account applications are fake.
Social media platforms are full of suspicious characters. Be especially careful if you spot offers in your social channels that look too good to be true – scammers often lure victims that way.
Hacked “smart” devices could haunt your house. A wide array of inventive devices now interconnect your home and your world: your car, your fridge, your baby monitor, your doorbell, your air conditioner – even your window blinds. In exchange for convenience, consumers are putting trust in all kinds of online smart devices, opening up new threats to security and privacy and creating points of entry for sinister hackers to exploit.
In social media, don’t be too quick to click on ads that offer improbably good deals.
Secure your smart devices and consider installing anti-malware on your smartphone. Configure and monitor app settings for privacy, encrypt your Wi-Fi, name your router and keep your software up to date. Ask the manufacturer or seller about smart device setup and vulnerabilities.
Use multifactor authentication to secure your logins – everywhere. However, using your private phone number for that purpose could expose you to some risks. Consider creating an internet phone number for online authentication instead.
Change passwords often and keep them long and strong. Pass phrases are more complex and may be more secure.
Never download or install files from unverified sources.
If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at www.IC3.gov. The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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