> Verizon customers: Be alert for two text scams. One message says, "Your bill is paid for March. Here's a gift for you." The company is also working to block texts that appear to come from the user's own number. In both cases, links take the user to a pro-Russian video channel.
> A new report says identity theft, where scammers steal an individual's personal information to steal money, has grown massively in the past year. Javelin Research says victims lost $24 billion last year, which is up a whopping 79% from the previous year. 15 million in the US and Canada were victims in 2021.
> Cafe Press, an online retailer that connects artists with customers, has been fined $500,000 by the FTC and ordered to undergo cybersecurity audits for the next 20 years. 20 million names and passwords were stolen by hackers several years ago because, the FTC ruled, Cafe Press was sloppy and didn't protect customers' names, passwords, and security questions and answers.
Beware of the bizarre text message. We tend to trust texts more than emails. That's why there were over 11 billion fake texts sent in March, which is up 30% from February, says the New York Times. As mentioned above, one of the most common fake texts right now is "Free Msg: Your cell phone bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you."
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"Somehow my cellphone number got attached to a (person's name), so now I am getting calls and texts addressed to her. I block and report it as spam. Is there anything else I can do to "unattach" my number from her name or do I just need to change my cellphone number?"
It’s possible she has activated a feature on her phone called “conditional call forwarding.” When turned on, calls and texts will be forwarded to another number (yours). Contact your carrier to cancel the feature.
"How do I close down an old email address that I no longer use?"
A dormant email account (or any online account) can be a security risk. Do a web search for instructions about how to delete it. You’ll need to know the password or be able to use other recovery options to proceed. Once in, if there’s anything you want to save, download it first. If you’re concerned about an old job-related or educational institution email address, contact the organization’s IT department to have it deleted.
"I have an old iPad — the 3rd generation from 2012. Is it still safe to connect to my Wi-Fi and use it for listening to podcasts?"
Use it till it dies! You can also use it as an electronic picture frame, second monitor, alarm clock, read recipes, or many other simple tasks. Apply software updates when offered. Don’t store sensitive information on it or do banking but reading books or listening to audio should be fine.
Aware Force Cybersecurity News • April 2022 b • Edition #143
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