We’ve all fallen for them. They seem so real they couldn’t possibly be a scam. Those emails we open before we finish reading what it is. Or we accidently click on something and a screen pops up, or you download some software. It’s so easy and we all fall for it. Here’s some reasons you need to beware:
*Those holiday emails promoting something. We all buy online and get an occasional phishing scam. Perhaps they are disguised as a notification about your order. If you don’t recognize where they come from don’t open them.
*Between us trying to make that taxable donation and organizations trying to make their fundraising goals there a lot of charities out there. Don’t hurry to hand over your money. Check the organization out and be sure it is a legitimate established organizations non-profit status.
*If you’ve heard of a “data breach” and recall Target and Home Depots hacking in the news you know a lot of people were effected and had to replace their credit or debit cards. Paying in cash is about the only way to really avoid this. Be sure to check your account activity regularly.
*Never click on a card or holiday invite that isn’t familiar to you. Beware of anything that asks you for information it doesn’t seem to really need. Like a holiday ecard or what looks like a gift card from a family member but its a little different. Better safe than sorry.
*There are so many great deals and promotions this time of year. We need to slow down and be aware of who we are dealing with. That attractive deal just might be fake. We need to pay attention to who you are dealing with before giving out your personal information such as address or credit card number. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
*An app that looks appealing could just be a front for a scammer who will steal your information and use it or sell it on the black market. Be aware of what you are downloading. Watch it as it downloads and don’t let extra things you don’t need be downloaded on your computer.
*Scammers can try to trick you by inpersonating your bank. If your information is compromised in a data breach your bank will contact you but becareful about giving your account information. There should be no reason to and they should know your security questions. If you have concerns call the customer service number that appears on the back of your card or on your bank statement.
* Skimming devices are installed on gas pump card readers and ATM machines so they can copy your credit card information. Be sure to check the ATM for any sign of tampering and cover the keypad with your hand before entering your PIN number and be sure to watch your account for any suspicious activity.
*Using vulnerable Wi-Fi devices and networks when you are traveling can be a risk. Investigate before hand and thoroughly research before using or purchasing travel deals. Don’t do online shopping when you are not a secure network.
* Company security is often targeted so be alert for any incoming articles send you. Do a little detective work before you open one of the “Year in Review” type articles sent to your business email.
* Make sure that when you are traveling you have all the security codes and pass codes in place. If you should lose your laptop, tablet, or smart phone you want it as difficult as for someone to access your devices.
* McAfee warns that USB devices you might receive in a gift basket or give away may have preloaded malware that will spread onto your computer or the device when it is connected. They are not that expensive so passing on USB drives you receive as a gift or promotion you should be okay passing on them.