What's the latest?

Texas

NEW Our prayers go out to those in Texas.

We all know that Texas has been in the news recently for devasting weather mixed with electrical blackouts. Disaster scammers have been targeting those affected and taking advantage of the situation by asking people to send their private account numbers. Don't do it! It's a bad idea - the electrical companies don't need anything from you.

What should you take away from this? Scammers love to make big promises in exchange for your information. In disaster situations where we are desperate for help, scammers will ask for your personal information in exchange for your electricity turning back on and Amazon gift cards. Don't believe it and don't do it - it's all a lie.

MAC 30K

30,000+ Mac's silently infected.

Whether your Mac is being powered by Apple or Intel processors, there is a newly discovered malware that has silently and secretly infected Mac's for quite some time now. Genereal belief is that this malware named "Silver Sparrow" found its way into Apple computers via malicious websites (Our training will help you identify these.) Researchers don't understand what the purpose or goal of the malware is, as it is mainly sitting dormat while it's waiting for an activation signal from the mothership (where ever and whomever that is.) What makes this particularly dangerous is that no one knows what it's going to do once activated, plus it apparently has a built-in self-destruct mechanism. Even worse, 30,000 is just an estimate and there could be thousands more infected with something similar.

What should you take away from this? Security researchers around the world are on top of this and Apple has already made moves to protect its users. Researchers believe these computers were infected

Packaged Detained

Your package held at customs. Not.

Imagine this in a robot voice: "This is the Customs and Immigration department calling to notify you that your package has been detained at customs. The package was found with drugs and cash labeled under your name. Press '1' to be connected to an agent immediately." -- They just want your money.

What should you take away from this? It's a complete scam, classic. Almost every package is traceable and if any "government agency" asks you to pay a fine over the phone, don't do it. Our training will help you identify these scammers.

CSC Authority's cyber security awareness training is modern and built with you in mind. It's relatable, interactive, not super technical and not boring either.

Gift Exchange

Sounds fun? Sorry, it's fake.

Holiday gift exchanges are always a fun time with your friends and family. You know when it's not fun? When you gift someone, but get nothing back. Sadly, that's what will happen with these fake gift exchanges on social media. It's spreading fast and uses emoji's and fun words like "super easy & fun!! Especially during this pandemic!" to lure you in.

What should you take away from this? You'll be giving random people your personal information which will make you highly vulnerable to identity theft, plus you'll give away your money to scammers.

Streaming Free

Don't pay to set up streaming.

A new scam floating around the internet wants you to pay to activate your streaming platform such as Roku. Streaming platforms like Roku don't require an activation fee to set up in addition to paying for the device itself. This scam starts by clicking on the wrong link or typing in the wrong website address.

What should you take away from this? Be careful on the links you click and always check to ensure the website you wanted is actually it. Our training will practically make you an expert on this!

Update it

Up your app game.

It's super important to keep those apps on your phone updated. Instagram recently released an update to their app that prevented a pretty serious hack from seeing the light of day. If you haven't updated your Instagram app, or your phone isn't auto-updating for some reason, then here is what could potentially happen: A sneaky hacker would convince you to save a meticulously crafted picture to your phone (maybe a funny meme you want to forward to people) and then upon opening Instragram, the app would crash. That crash just gave the hacker 100% full control of your phone and could turn it into a spying device like stealing your data.

Moral of the story? ALWAYS update your apps!

Contact Tracers

Sheesh, will these COVID scams ever end?!?

The latest COVID scam is fake contact tracers (the technology that will notify you on your cell phone if you have come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.) Now that Apple and Google have released their official collab, learn about it here, there are swarms of scams out there claiming to be them, or variations of them.

The FTC has released the "5 things you need to know" and they are:

  1. Real contact tracers won't ask you for money. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
  2. Contact tracing doesn’t require your bank account or credit card number.
  3. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Social Security number.
  4. Your immigration status doesn’t matter for contact tracing, so real tracers won’t ask.
  5. As always, don't click on unknown links in your text messages or emails! (Our training can help you with that!)

CSC Authority's cyber security awareness training is modern and built with you in mind. It's relatable, interactive, not super technical and not boring either.

WFH Money Mule

Don't be a scam mule - Work from home (WFH) safely!

Innocent people searching for "work from home" jobs are being tricked into becoming what the FBI calls "money mules" by unknowingly moving money for criminals through funds transfers, physical movement of cash and various other methods. People are often targeted through online job schemes or dating websites and apps. Read the FBI press release here.

The FBI recommends for people to watch out for online job postings and emails from individuals promising you easy money for little to no effort. These are some common red flags:

  1. The “employer” you communicate with uses web-based services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.
  2. You are asked to receive funds in your personal bank account and then “process” or “transfer” funds via wire transfer, ACH, mail, or money service businesses, such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
  3. You are asked to open bank accounts in your name for a business.
  4. Individuals claiming to be U.S. service members stationed overseas, U.S. citizens working abroad or U.S. citizens working abroad asking you to send or receive money on behalf of themselves or a loved one battling COVID-19.
  5. As always, don't click on unknown links in your text messages or emails! (Our training can help you with that!)

Go Stealth

**Includes some technical mumbo-jumbo.

Use a VPN to navigate the internet like a ninja.

A VPN (virtual private network) is like walking around a crowded grocery store during COVID in your own personal bubble, you're fully protected from the virus. For car enthusiasts, a VPN is like private tunnel underneath the freeway, your car is all alone. Ok so what is it really? A VPN ensures the data traveling between your device (computer, smartphone, tablet) and the websites you visit on the internet, are completely secure and anonymous. Hackers, cyber criminals, and data thieves won't be able to spy on what you're doing.

Why do I need a VPN?

  1. Hides your computer from spies so you can browse the internet privately.
  2. Allows you to access websites from different countries and avoid censorship.
  3. Protects you on free Public WiFi networks (Our training covers the importance of this!)
  4. Become anonymous.
  5. Access your work resources remotely from your house!

First you must pick a company that offers a VPN service and sign up with them. There are some great free services out there as well as paid services that offer some added benefits. Once you're a member, they typically give you a software to install or you can use the built-in's offered with Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS and Linux. Your computer will connect to one of the servers owned by the VPN company and use that server to route all your internet requests through it to completely hide yourself from cyber spies. So for example, if you don't use a VPN, your Internet Provider (the company that you pay monthly to have internet access at your house) will be able to see what websites you visit. If you use a VPN, your Internet Provider will think you only visit one website and that's the VPN company since all your internet data is routing through that VPN server.

We'll update this soon with some links to VPN service options and how to configure them.

Corona Scams

Ughhh, as if COVID wasn't bad enough, the scams keep making it worse.

With all the uncertainty around COVID-19 in our daily lives, the last thing we need is to potentially get scammed. Unfortunately, scammers and hackers are out there ready to take advantage of people's COVID-19 fears. From phone calls, to emails, to text messages, to Facebook posts, they will try to get you in any way they can!

The FTC has released a list of "4 things you can do to avoid a coronavirus scam" and they are:

  1. Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
  2. Hang up on robocalls. Scammers use illegal sales call to get your money and your personal information.
  3. Watch out for phishing emails and text messages. Don’t click on links in emails or texts you didn’t expect (Our training can help you with that!)
  4. Research before you donate. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation.