What you don't say on social media is as important as what you do say.

Cybercrooks scan social media posts

for personal information that appears in photos and texts.

You might be surprised at the information that puts you at risk.

Click the button below to watch the video.

Is TikTok safe? The Chinese-owned social media channel, where users share funny or politically-oriented 15-second videos, has 37 million users in the United States.


Foreign Policy magazine says there's a concern that the Chinese government could use TikTok videos to spread disinformation. That has led several large US firms to ban TikTok from company-owned phones and laptops. 


Meanwhile, a new social media platform called Reels launches later this month. Owned by Instagram, Reels is paying some of TikTok’s most popular contributors thousands of dollars to switch sides.

Screenshots of Reels via MacRumors.

Garmin users: here's why your fitness app stopped working. Garmin got hacked, and information about its customers is being held for ransom by cyber crooks. 

The company has restored service but has not disclosed how much customer data was compromised. Ransomware can result when an employee responds to a fake phishing email or downloads and opens an infected document on their computer. 

Cyber bytes: Later this month, Zoom, the popular video conferencing platform, will introduce its own hardware device that's optimized for Zoom calls. The $600 device will have a 27" screen, three built-in cameras, and eight microphones. ... Wattpad, the 150th most popular website in the world, has been breached. BleepingComputer says millions of user names, names, and email addresses are now for sale on the dark web. Wattpad users should change their usernames and passwords. ... Think twice before you download a COVID tracking app on your phone. Politico says many tracking apps, even some designed by governments, are not secure, send users' personal information to third parties, and are relatively easy to hack. ... Microsoft says work-related text messages sent between 6 pm and midnight have grown more than 50% since the pandemic began. 

Crooks are sending fake text messages more often because we tend to believe texts that appear on our smartphones.

Common fake texts involve urgent messages, such as:


  • an urgent request for financial help from a family member

  • instructions for claiming a free gift card (often from Wal-Mart or Apple)

  • confirmation of an Uber ride-share that you never placed

  • a warning from your bank that you’re overdrawn

  • an automated shipping update from FedEx or UPS


Clicking on a link in a text shows cybercrooks that your phone number is active. Responding to the text with bank account information, a password, or your credit card gives them valuable information they use to attack you. 

Check out this example of a fake text message. Move the slider back and forth to spot the clues.

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XSI's Cyber Range — I.C.E. (Integrated Cyber Environment) solution offers a virtual cyber defense environment designed to train cybersecurity professionals and decision-makers in securing national military and civilian networks against all forms of cyberattacks. The range is an integral component of Xtreme Solutions’ comprehensive cyber defense solutions.


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Recent editions of Aware Force Cybersecurity News from Xtreme Solutions

COVID scams

Early May

Password managers

Mid May

Spear phishing

Early June

Kids on the web

Early July

Mid July

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • August 2020 a • Edition #101

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