The holiday season can be a particularly busy time for many of us. It’s also a time when cyber-thieves can take advantage of our distractions to steal our personal information and our money. Below are some ways to stay cyber-safe over the holidays and into the new year.
- Beware of Fake Emails
Cyber criminals take advantage of this season of increased online shopping to send fake emails pretending to be from shipping companies like FedEx or UPS, vendors like Amazon, or payment organizations like PayPal or banks. Fake emails often contain malware. Be especially careful when you receive emails from these organizations and verify that you made the purchase or are expecting the package being referenced. If you aren’t expecting a package or didn’t make the purchase, assume it’s a fraud.
- Avoid Connecting to Unknown Wi-Fi Networks
Scammers take advantage of crowded malls and stores to put up fraudulent Wi-Fi systems to lure shoppers. Once you connect to these fake networks, your data and credentials can easily be stolen. Be on the lookout for generic Wi-Fi networks, which are often called “Free Public Wi-Fi” or use misspellings of legitimate store names, like “K0hls.”
- Use Credit Cards Online Rather Than Debit Cards
Most credit cards provide protection and will cover you if a fraud occurs. Monitor your card’s activity carefully and often.
- Don’t Reuse Passwords
If one website is compromised, you’re at risk a scammer can access your account on all websites with the same password. Whenever possible, use different passwords for each online account.
- Cover the PIN Pad
Don’t let people look over your shoulders when you’re typing your PIN number at a crowded ATM. Scammers make a living “shoulder-surfing” PINs.
Questions? Comments? Email TechHelp@fitnyc.edu or call 212 217.HELP (4357).
Happy Holidays from the Division of Information Technology