Scammers tend to follow an editorial calendar much like journalists do. For example when the holiday season is coming journalists often write about bargains to be had while scammers use the season as an opportunity to try and entice users with deals that are “too good to be true.”
This same practice is also used for high-value news items such as a natural disasters, celebrities and high-profile sporting events. Many of us are not aware of the risks and threats associated with such high-profile sporting events and the impact this could have on you, your devices and your personal data. In fact, in a recent survey done by OnePoll for McAfee, only 13% of Brits are worried about a cyber threat spoiling their enjoyment of the summer’s sporting events.
As the world descends into a sporting frenzy this summer, it can be easy to become a little sloppy about keeping your mobile devices safe and secure. However, now is the time when we need to be more cautious.
McAfee has recently identified several scams related to sports which encourage consumers to share their personal details. These can take the form of text messages, social network spam or emails offering fake tickets or lottery wins.
In order to help you keep your mobile devices protected during this summer of sport, you should:
- Heed the advice of too good to be true
Be wary of phony websites, emails, texts and pop-ads offering “too good to be true” deals on tickets to sporting events, autographed merchandise, and “winning” a trip to events.
- Back-up your data
Before you leave on a vacation to a major sporting event, make sure you’ve made a replica of your data from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other devices you’re taking with you. That way in case your device is lost or stolen, you still have all our data. Also consider deleting any personal information on the device that isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Disable location services
Before posting photos on sites like Facebook, turn off GPS to avoid having your location information falling into the wrong hands.
- Don’t let your apps remember your user names and passwords: Also make sure you don’t store credit card information or passwords on websites. If your smartphone or laptop is lost criminals can easily access these accounts
- Be careful when using Wi-Fi networks
Avoid using public or free Wi-Fi networks when trying to access information online. Your information could easily be stolen without your knowledge and you should log in to any financial or shopping sites.
- Use “safe search” technology
Make sure that install software the alerts you to risky sites that you may receive via email, texts, IMs or social networking sites. This will prevent you from going to a site that could download malicious software on your mobile device that could steal your identity and financial information.
The world’s biggest sporting event is something to be enjoyed by all and by following these tips, you can stay safe and just enjoy the event!
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)