Halloween is a time for fun and scares. Still, it's also important to know the cyber security threats lurking online. Cybercriminals know that people are more likely to be distracted and let their guard down during the holidays, so they start haunting and taunting you.
The Dixon Financial Group team wants you to be aware of the most common cyber security threats on Halloween and beyond and learn the tricks on how to avoid them:
- Beware of the scary creatures lurking in a phishing email: Phishing emails trick you into clicking on a malicious link or opening an attachment that contains malware. These emails can often look very convincing, so it's essential to be careful. Be wary of emails asking for personal information, such as your passwords or credit card numbers. And never click on links or open attachments from unknown senders.
- Don't get tricked by spooky spoofed websites: Spoofed websites are fake ones designed to look like real ones. Cybercriminals use these websites to steal personal information or infect your computer with malware. Be careful when entering personal information on any website, and make sure the website's URL is correct before entering any information.
- Avoid eery social engineering attack monsters: Social engineering attacks trick you into giving up personal information or performing an action that could compromise your security. Cybercriminals may use social engineering attacks to pose as customer support representatives, law enforcement officers, or other trusted individuals. Be careful about who you give personal information to, and never perform any actions that could compromise your security, such as transferring money or changing your passwords, at the request of someone you don't know and trust.
- Don't download suspicious apps or games; it could come back to haunt you. Halloween is a popular time for new apps and games to be released, but be careful about which ones you download—only download apps and games from trusted sources, such as the official app stores for your device.
When your kids are out trick-or-treating, you take steps to keep them safe, like using a flashlight, wearing reflective clothing and going in groups. We want you safe on Halloween and beyond, so please follow the suggestions below:
- Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication: One of the best ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks is to use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your online accounts. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when logging in to your accounts.
- Keep your software updated: Software developers regularly release updates that patch security vulnerabilities. By keeping your software up to date, you can help to protect yourself from known cyber threats.
- Be careful about what you share online: Be cautious about what personal information you share online, especially on social media. Cybercriminals can use the information you communicate to target you with phishing attacks or other scams.
- Use a reputable antivirus program: A reputable antivirus program can help protect your computer from malware. Be sure to keep your antivirus program current and run regular scans.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to keep yourself safe. Here is our advice to you. Suppose you get a creepy feeling about something or question if it is real or something that is stalking you; talk to someone you trust before giving any information away. It is always better to be safe to help avoid being sorry later on. Follow these suggestions to help protect yourself from cyber security threats on Halloween and all year round.
Bonus tip: Remember, as a kid, when you got home from trick or treating, an adult looked over your candy to ensure nothing looked unedible or suspicious. You must use the same caution regarding emails, messaging, websites, phone calls, texts, and social media. Take the time to read, listen and observe before you click that link or answer that question. If you are still concerned, you can always call our team at Dixon Financial Group, LLC; we would be happy to help you determine whether you are being tricked or may have a treat coming.
Happy Halloween, and stay safe online!
The DFG Team
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