In its Email Fraud Threat Report: Year in Review 2017, Proofpoint (our parent company) highlights the rise of business email compromise (BEC) attacks during the course of 2017. The report draws from analysis of more than 160 billion emails sent to more than 2,400 organizations across 150 countries. Following are some of the key findings related to these specialized phishing attack patterns.
This spring break, students and families will step away from school and travel to warmer locales.
Before you jet to your spring break destination, don’t forget to pack your passport, sunscreen, and these mobile safety tips from Stop.Think.Connect.:
Keep a Clean Machine. Ensure all devices that connect to the Internet, including smart phones, tablets, and laptops, have the latest mobile security software, web browsers, and operating systems. This is the best way to defend against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Protect Your Personal Information.Keep your phone securely locked (with a passcode) and in your possession. Disable geotagging features on your phone and applications so that your movements are not tracked and broadcast. Only give your phone number to people you know, and don’t share your friends’ numbers without their permission.
Connect with Care. While conducting online banking or shopping, look for websites that begin with “https.” These sites have taken extra measures to secure your information. Also, be wary of using public Wi-Fi or Internet hotspots to conduct sensitive online activities, such as banking and shopping.
Be a Good Online Citizen. Think before you upload photos or videos. What you put online can have consequences in the future. Ask your friends’ permission before uploading photos of them as well.
For more cybersecurity tips for those on the go, download the Stop.Think.Connect. Mobile Safety Tip Sheet.This information was published by GovDelivery on behalf of the US Department of Homeland Security in a March 2014 newsletter email.
Common online fraud scams include:
- People selling items, such as automobiles, that they do not own. These transactions can take place over sites like Craigslist or eBay, with the buyer transferring money electronically and receiving no product in return.
- Phishing and spoofing, where criminals pretend to represent a legitimate company or agency and request personal information from their targets. These attempts can include a legitimate-looking email or website. In these cases, the criminals have “spoofed” a real company’s site.
- Nigerian letter scam, where people are offered to share in a large sum of money if they can help place this money in overseas bank accounts. Victims give criminals their bank account information and send money to the criminals to help pay for bribes and taxes with the promise of repayment.
- Think Before You Act. Be wary of “too good to be true” deals. Free money, cheap iPads, cheap cars – if a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- When in Doubt, Throw it Out. Do not click on links or emails that seem suspicious or are from unknown, unsolicited sources.
- Shop Only at Reputable Online Retailers. Look for the padlock symbol or for URLs that start with “https” or “shttp.” For auction sites such as eBay, check the seller’s reviews.
- Use Safe Payment Options. Use a credit card if possible. Credit cards have higher protection measures than debit cards. If you do become a victim of fraud, credit cards offer a better chance that you will not be liable for fraudulent charges.