October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In keeping with this theme, let’s talk about the upcoming holidays and some common scams to keep an eye out for.
One of the more popular scams during the holidays is to play on the search for the year’s “hottest” toy. Every year there is at least one toy that seems to go “viral” and become the must have for every child. It then becomes nearly impossible to find at all the mainstream retailers, so you start searching online to try to find it. This is what the scammers count on, as it’s easy for them to place ads advertising too good to be true deals that lead to phishing or other malicious sites. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
During the holidays we all get requests from charities to donate while we’re feeling the holiday spirit. This is another place where scammers can take advantage of our human nature. If you receive unsolicited phone calls requesting donations that turn into high pressure pitches, just hang up. If you’re donating online, make sure to research the charity you’re thinking of giving to in order to make sure it’s reputable. The IRS has a database of charitable organizations that is a good starting point: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/search-for-tax-exempt-organizations.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is all about raising awareness, and education is key. You can also take advantage of a wealth of information available online such as:
- the CBTech Support Blog (https://bit.ly/CBTech-blog)
- KrebsOnSecurity (https://krebsonsecurity.com)
- The Verge (https://theverge.com/cyber-security)
- The National Cyber Security Alliance (https://staysafeonline.org)
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