18 November 2014

McAfee provides safety tips against holiday scams

McAfee, part of Intel Security, has released its annual 12 Scams of the Holidays list to explain how cybercriminals take advantage of the holiday mood to scam people during the festive season.


Source: McAfee.
Said David Freer, Vice President, Consumer, APAC, McAfee, part of Intel Security: “All it takes is awareness and some simple precautionary measures to keep.. digital lives safe and not spoil the year end spirit.”

This year’s top 12 Scams of the Holidays include several that could impact employees:

Scam no. 4, termed 'buyer beware', notes that point of sale malware could lead to exposed credit card information. The only way to tell is through credit card statements and sometimes, breaking news reports.

If sending corporate e-cards through a third party service, scam no. 6, 'getting carded', is relevant. McAfee notes that well-known e-card sites are safe, cautions that scams could still dupe users into downloading malware.

Scam no. 8, the 'bank robocall scam', could happen to corporate accounts as well as personal accounts. In this scam, phone calls purportedly from a financial institution inform the employee that a bank account has been compromised, and request information such as the account password to make changes.

The tenth scam is about Year in Review traps — the risks of clicking on these feature stories from work emails is that they could infect and compromise the security of company devices.
And lastly, scam no. 12, 'bad USB blues'. Companies which receive gift hampers from vendors may be saddled with infected USB drives. 

McAfee has also shared these safety tips:

· Do your research to make sure the company you are working with is legitimate.
  • Do an online search of the company you’re buying items from to see if there’s any news about recent risks
  • Go to the company’s homepage to make sure it is a genuine business 
  • Instead of clicking on a link in an email for a shopping deal, visit the site directly
· Bank carefully
  • If your bank calls requesting information, hang up and call them back through the official main phone number. It’s important to talk to your banker through the official number so you know it is legitimate
  • Inspect the ATM for loose wires or machine parts that may have been tampered with. This could indicate hackers trying to fix the machine for their benefit
· Stay informed
  • Follow breaking news stories for new security breaches to stay alert
  • Only shop at retailers you know have not been compromised
  • Check all credit card statements for any suspicious entries 
· Educate employees
  • Ensure devices are secured with complex passcodes to allow access to smartphones, tablets or laptops 
  • Share the most common scams that exist around the holidays with your employees so they know what to be on the lookout for and how to stay protected