February News Article

Phishing is Here to Stay

In 2020 phishing attempts are still going to be “swimming” at you from different directions. Expect to see a rise in text messaging scams (SMiShing). Attackers will try to trick you into giving up personal information, login credentials, or money.

A typical SMiShing scam message may seem like it's from a bank – maybe your bank – and include a link or phone number to bait you into clicking or calling. If you do, you stand a good chance of being hooked. That's when the scammers get to work on manipulating your personal information, which they can sell and/or use in other scams. SMiShers may also try to entice you into downloading malware to your device.

Things you can do to avoid being a victim of a SMiShing attempt include:

  • Never click links, reply to text messages or call numbers you don't recognize.

  • Do not respond, even if the message requests that you "text STOP" to end messages.

  • Delete all suspicious texts.

  • Make sure your smart device OS and security apps are updated to the latest version.

  • Consider installing anti-malware software on your device for added security.

Passwords Galore

We can’t stress enough: DON’T REUSE Passwords!!! That means once you’ve changed the password, forget it forever. Don’t recycle your passwords and resurrect ones from years back either. Cybercriminals have caught onto your bad habits, and they are retrying passwords that were cracked from a couple years ago. It is wise to invest in a good secure password manager tool—one that encrypts your data.

Tax Fraudsters

Tax season is here again and tax scams are already in full force. Being aware of some of the emerging tax scams and how they work will help you protect yourself and your personal information. As you prepare to file your tax return this year, cybercriminals will be busy trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge. In case you did not see last month’s news article, you can check out some of the most popular tax scams happening this tax season. Being aware can help you protect yourself and your personal information.

2020 Quick Tips to Stay Safe

  • If your computer or smartphone says you need to install an update, do it right away. Do not postpone it because the updates protect you!

  • Use MFA (multi-factor authentication) anytime you have it available to you. If somehow your password is collected, MFA will stop the access if it’s on.

  • Use security software to protect your data. Keep your antivirus up to date!

  • Be aware of what apps are on your phone and what permissions you have given them. Do all your apps need access to the microphone or camera? Think about that.

  • Always lock your smart phone securely. Use a combination of biometric and password!