News Archive

Holiday Safety Tips

Below are tips that will make your holiday merrier as well as safer.

Email Tip

  • Never email or share your password -- There have been a number of recent spam emails claiming to be from KCTCS asking users to reconfirm their account by sending back their password or other personal information. If you have sent your password in any email recently please change your password immediately.

12 Cyber- Scams of Christmas

The festive season of holiday meals and gift shopping also brings another tradition unfortunately -- getting ripped off. Here are 12 scams to watch for this season.

  • Free iPads -- In this scam, consumers are asked to purchase other products and provide their
    credit card number to get the freebie. You know what happens next
  • Ive been robbed -- This travel scam sends phony distress messages to family and friends requesting that money be wired.
  • Fake gift cards -- Social media sites are used to promote-e fake gift card offers with the goal of stealing consumers information and money.
  • Holiday job offers -- As people try to make ends meet, scams offer links to nonexistent high-paying, work-at home
    jobs.
  • Smashing -- Smishing is when a phishing SMS, or text message, arrives on your cell phone. It appears to come from your bank or an online retailer. Watch out!
  • Suspicious holiday rentals -- During peak travel times, when consumers often look online for affordable holiday rentals, cyber-crooks post fake holiday rental sites that ask for down payments on properties by credit card or wire transfer.
  • Recession scams -- Scammers target vulnerable consumers with recession-related scams such as pay-in-advance
    credit schemes.
  • Grinch-like greetings involving e-cards -- Electronic cards can save paper and postage, but crooks load fake versions with links to malware.
  • Low-price traps -- These too-good-to-be-true deals aim to suck you in and steal your identity.
  • Charity scams -- Common ploys include phone calls and spam emails asking you to donate to veterans charities and relief funds for the latest catastrophe.
  • Dangerous downloads -- Holiday themed screen-savers, jingles, and animations are an easy way for scammers to spread viruses.
  • Hotel and airport Wi-Fi vulnerabilities -- This is an anytime risk with thieves who are savvy enough to hack into public
    networks being used by hurried travelers.

10 Holiday ID Protection Tips

Here are 10 tips from cyber security experts about how not to put your identity at risk this season.

  • Shop smart -- When heading to the mall, limit the credit cards you carry, and leave your Social Security card and other unneeded documents at home.
  • Keep receipts and check statements -- Examine every charge on your statement before paying. By law, you have 30 days from the date of your
    statement to notify your financial institution of any discrepancies.
  • Protect your computer before shopping online -- Make sure your operating system includes all needed security patches and that your antivirus software is up to date.
  • Choose your cyber-spots -- Always check for the lock icon on a websites browser status bar,
    which signals a secure site thats safe for transactions. If you land on a website youve never heard of, check to make
    sure it has security precautions in place and that its not a fake site set up by identity thieves.
  • Dont write a check -- Experts recommend cash or gift cards instead. The information on a check - your name, signature, address, and account number - can be used by thieves to steal your identity.
  • Shred it -- All documents with personally identifiable information should be destroyed; these days, personal shredders are easily available.
  • Strengthen your passwords -- Use strong passwords with at least eight characters, including a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for predators to pounce on.
  • Watch your purse or wallet -- The holidays are prime time for pickpockets and other thieves; parties, restaurants, fitness clubs, shopping carts, and your car are all crooks favorite spots.
  • Dont take the bait -- The holidays always bring a spike in
    phishing scams. Beware!
  • On hold -- If you plan to travel, be sure to stop mail and newspaper delivery.
    National Security Institute, Inc