CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Privacy breaches are reaching an all time high and your phone might be your problem.
WBTV Cyber Expert Theresa Payton says cyber criminals know this is a busy time of year.
School and work calendars are jam packed. Holiday shopping is already underway. This is the time of year that social engineering by cyber criminals reaches an all time high. The bad guys know you are on the go and connected to the internet mainly by your smart phone. Since they go where the action is, that's where they are.
Payton cites a new study from Google and the University of California, San Diego, which finds that there are some phishing methods that are so convincing, that the best phishing sites and emails work 45% of the time. Even the worst & more obvious fake emails and fake sites trick 3% of internet users to click.
Payton's advice on avoiding phishing scams follows:
HOW THEY TRICK YOU:
1. Sending an email that looks like your bank or a company you do business with (that's how some of the celebrities that had photos stolen were tricked!)
2. Getting you to click on links on sites while you are multi-tasking on your phone
HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
To avoid that kind of scam and others, here are the latest tips on how to stay safe while managing work, home & even holiday shopping online:
1. Skip attachments and hyperlinks. Even attachments from people you know should not be trusted!
2. Don't make purchases over free Wi-Fi. Any public Wi-Fi connection, such as those offered at hotels, coffee shops or libraries, might be fake or insecure.
3. Protect your smartphone. Lock it. Add anti malware software. Turn on encryption by looking at your security settings. e as big e-card sites.
4. Upgrade/rotate/expire your passwords. Try the haystack tool to help you create strong, unique passwords. Use 2 factor authentication (this is usually the method where a code is texted to your phone).