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February Spam Warning: Valentine’s Day Security
As February 14th draws closer, don’t be surprised if several spams and phishing scams find their way into your inbox.
There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day often offers spammers and scammers alike a golden opportunity to lure people into opening their wallets or giving away their personal information under the deceptive guise of love.
That is why Valentine’s Day security should be on everyone’s mind when buying gifts online or opening an e-card from that special someone.
Buying gifts online
Shopping online is generally safe as long as you stay on trusted and secure sites. However, as the day comes closer, your inbox or junk folder will start to get filled up with Valentine’s Day-themed offers.
While some are truly legitimate, spammers and scammers often promote fake products at highly discounted prices and embed links in the mailer to websites asking for your personal information and delivering nothing in return.
Here are 5 tips to stay protected against phishing:
- Always be very careful of suspicious emails and links. And never fill out forms or signup pages coming from these emails or links.
- Never enter your personal information on a page you don’t know or trust. And always check the URL to make sure you’re not on a phishing site.
- Never send your passwords via email.
- Only sign in to your online accounts when your 100% certain that you’re on the right site. Remember phishing sites impersonate legitimate sites by copying their login page. But one thing online criminals can’t copy is the URL. So always check the URL to make sure it is legitimate.
- Use an anti-phishing browser add-on to automatically warn you when you’re on suspected phishing sites.
E-cards are an easy, cheap and fun way to send out greetings to those you love. However, fake e-cards are much too often used by cybercriminals to steal your personal information or infect your computer.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe:
- Verify the sender and sender’s email address. For instance, don’t click on an e-card if the from field is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
- Don’t click on links when you’re not sure of the sender or the intent of the email.
- NEVER download or click anything from an unknown or unverified source.
- Be very careful of attachments from people you don’t know.
- Use recognized greeting cards sites and stay away from the ones you never heard of.