Security Tip of the Week
From the desk of Christian Payton Hinton
Office of Information Security Student Assistant
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Tech Support Scams
The FTC knows about Tech Support scams. They did an informative article on the scams in July. However, the FTC wants to put information in your hands to help others around you! They have some quick tips you can learn so that you can help those around you avoid these scams.
Chrome gets and update.
The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 68 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux.
This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.
Chrome 68.0.3440.75 contains a number of fixes and improvements -- a list of changes is available in the log.
Free Trials are not always "free"
Free trial Offers are often used by scammers to drag money out of you with hidden or undisclosed fee's or even by charging you immediately at the end of your trial period. Recently the FTC dealt with a massive scam that charged users who agreed to the "free" trial upwards of one-hundred dollars!
The FTC has a couple of tips to help you spot a "free" trial scam!
A new way to steal payment information is called "shimming." Scammers insert a shim -- a paper-thin, card-sized device with an embedded microchip and flash storage -- into the slot where you enter the chip side of your credit or debit cart. When you insert your card at a gas pump, ATM, or another card reader, it copies and saves your payment information. Then, scammers return with a special card that collects the stolen information, such as your PIN and card number. They use this information to make purchases with your account information.
View the BBB's article on Shimmers to keep yourself protected!
Watch out for Vacation Rental Scams
There are plenty of us still running around trying to book a last minute vacation and scammers know it. Some scammers start with real vacation rental listings. Then they take off the owner's contact information, put in their own, and place the new listing on a different site — though they might continue to use the name of the actual owner. In other cases, scammers hijack the email accounts of property owners on reputable vacation rental websites.
But the FTC has a few tips to help you spot those false listings!
Malware in Torrents
Heimdal security recently did a review of how their users contract malware and found one common cause, Online Pirating. Pirating is the act of illegally downloading any media or software without paying for it. However, through pirating you open yourself up to damaging virus', ransomware, and spyware. Heimdal has some information that may make you rethink getting your favorite movie free.
Check out their article for their findings!
Natural Disaster Relief
Natural disasters and weather emergencies are in the news. Whether it's the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala or the wildfires in Colorado, it's heartbreaking to see people lose their homes and businesses to the ongoing devastation. But it's despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity.
Check out the FTC's Tip Sheet on how to make sure your money goes where it should.
Have You Been Pwned?
Recent news of major companies hit by data breaches can cause you to wonder if your information has been compromised. Author and ethical hacker Troy Hunt has created the website haveibeenpwned.com to answer that question. Simply enter your email address into this site, and it will tell you whether and where it has been impacted by any breaches.
This is an informational site suggested by the Office of Information Security, and is being provided for general purposes only. Here is a link to the website: Have I been Pwned?
Safety tips for Mobile Devices
Your mobile devices – including smartphones, laptops and tablets – are always within reach everywhere you go,
whether for work, travel or entertainment. These devices make it easy to connect to the world around you, but
they can also pack a lot of info about you and your friends and family, like your contacts, photos, videos,
location and health and financial data. It's important to use your mobile device safely.
So check out Stop | Think | Connect's Tips on how to keep your device safe this summer!
Change your Twitter password. Now.
You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords "unmasked" in an internal log.
What does this mean? If you are a Twitter user, your password could be exposed. Twitter says that there are no signs of a breach or misuse by anyone currently, but it's still a good idea to change your password. Did you use the same password for other accounts? Change those, too.
For more information checkout the FTC's blog post!