Cybersecurity news you can use

from the GP Cybersecurity Team

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Cybercrime is dangerous and growing. We know it's important to be cyber-aware when we're online. But do we behave that way?


The security awareness company CybSafe and the National Cybersecurity Alliance have released a new study about safe online behaviors by polling 2,000 respondents in the US and the UK. Here are some of the highlights.  

Who always use a unique password for their important online accounts: 22%

Who keep their passwords stored on a piece of paper: 31%

Who simply remember their passwords: 26%

Who have never heard of "two-factor authentication" for online security:  48%

Who never update the software on their devices: 10%

Who rarely or never back up the files on their devices: 20%

Respondents who say they're intimidated by cybersecurity: 41%

Who have been a victim of cybercrime: 34%

But didn't report it: 61%

Who have had their identity stolen: 19%

Who frequently check to see if an email or text message is legit: 72%

Who alert the proper authority to a suspected fake email or text: 42%

Who never check to see if an email or text message is legit: 10%

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Click on the orange arrows to listen to 

Lisa Plaggemier of the National Cybersecurity Alliance

Many of us think our personal information has little value because we're not wealthy. Think again!

How do most of us handle all our passwords? Not the smartest way, it turns out.

The most important thing you can use to protect your valuable online accounts is "multifactor authentication."

Trust your gut when you get an odd email. You have a lot of power to stay safe when a scammer contacts you.

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> The New York Times says Meta (the new corporate name for Facebook) is planning to open stores where consumers can try out upcoming products like virtual reality headsets and AI eyeglasses. Possible names for the new chain include "Facebook Commons" and "Facebook Hub."

> The free version of Zoom video chats will soon include ads that appear onscreen after a chat session ends.  Users who pay Zoom $15 a month will continue with an ad-free version.

> Hackers have stolen customer information from the luxury jewelry company Graff, and are threatening to release the data if a ransom isn't paid. According to London's Sunday Times newspaper, customers affected include Oprah, Alec Baldwin, and Samuel L. Jackson. Ransomware attacks, where data is stolen and encrypted by ransom-seeking hackers, now occur every 11 seconds. The average ransom demand has grown to $150,000. 

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Nearly 1 in 4 of us have lost access to a social media account because a scammer stole the password. Have you been locked out of your social media account?

Here's a headstart if that ever happens to you.

Click on the thumbnail image to download and print a list of steps to get back into a locked account.

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"I think you need to tell people about the 'pig butchering' scam. My friend was a victim of it and I understand it's on the rise."

"Pig butchering" is the name of an online romance scam. Scammers approach victims on dating sites, building trust with carefully scripted interactions, sharing photos and personal stories. After spending weeks building victims' trust, the scammers eventually claim to be cryptocurrency experts and convince victims to invest money. ScamAdvisor says the typical "pig butchering" victim loses nearly $25,000. 

"Why do I receive spam calls on my cell phone that are the same as my employer's phone number?"

Scammers can easily make it look as if they're calling from any phone number, including your employer's. They may instruct you to disclose sensitive information about your job, buy gift cards to help an executive who is in a jam, or help get an invoice paid, among other tricks. Trust your gut. Just because a call displays a phone number or a voicemail seems to be linked to your job, doesn't mean that it's legit. 

"Which is the best free VPN service to use?"

ZDNet says you shouldn't use any of them. Either they're slow, they put limits on how much of your online activity they'll protect before charging you, or they spy on what you're doing — which defeats the purpose of a VPN. VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network." A VPN scrambles online activity like where you go on the web so scammers can't read it. Most reliable VPNs cost about $12 a month. Do a web search for "best VPN" to find options. 

Do you have a question about cybersecurity?

Thank you for your question!

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • November 2021 b • Edition #134

Cyber cartoon © 2021 Tom Fishburne

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