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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Tips to protect your data, security, and privacy
March 26, 2022

Tips to protect your data, security, and privacy

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Tips to protect your data, security, and privacy

Security tips

1. Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Install device, operating system, and software security updates as soon as they become available.

2. Use a strong, unique password for each login you use. Use a password manager to create and remember passwords if you can. If you aren’t using a password manager, use long passphrases that cannot be found in a dictionary.

3. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to help protect your accounts wherever it’s offered.

4. Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you’re agreeing to before you click “Next.”

5. Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs. Likewise, avoid keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

6. Use a browser-based content blocker, like Browser Guard. Content blockers help reduce ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

7. Slow down and think before clicking on things or reacting to unexpected messages.

8. Be alert for people trying to trick you. Whether it’s your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it’s easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn’t make messages more trustworthy.

9. Never open unexpected attachments and be cautious about attachments from friends and family.

10. Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. Backup to an external device and disconnect it when the backup is complete. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

11. Use privacy-first software. If you are concerned about surveillance or censorship, use privacy-first software like the Tails operating system, Tor browser, and Signal messenger.

New Page Dedicated to Oil Rig Scams

Due to the increasing popularity of the oil rig scammers who are part of romance scams, there is now a new webpage with information on the scam, how it works and the opportunity at the bottom of the page to add your own story/submission/photos and comments.

Check out the new page located at:

Oil Rig Scammer

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at 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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