Cybersecurity news you can use

from NTSC.

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QR codes have been around for over 20 years. But since the pandemic began, QR codes have grown in popularity. And with more popularity comes more scams.

Check out these examples and tips about how to use QR codes safely

For closed captioning, click "cc" and  select "English"

when the video begins playing. 

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The International Red Cross says it has been the victim of a sophisticated cyber hack that led to the theft of personal information involving a half-million “highly vulnerable” people. TechCrunch says the breach occurred because the organization did not update a critical piece of software for several months.


> A small cybersecurity company has developed software that makes blurred text clear enough to read. TechRadar has two recommendations. Don’t blur text — instead, place a solid black bar over the entire text. And never try to hide cells in a spreadsheet by simply coloring the boxes black. The recipient can simply change the boxes’ color back to “none" and read the hidden data.


> Scammers are sending phishing emails promising government money to those impacted by COVID. Tech firm INKY says the emails appear to come from “HR: Employee Medical Identification.” Users are instructed to log into their Office365 account and fill out a form including their password to receive $5,000. On the next screen, they get a message that says “Access Denied.”


...is the term for text messages sent by scammers,

instructing you to send a payment,

visit a website, respond to a text,

call a number, or click on a link to download a file.

Smishes are usually urgent or intriguing,

like these examples


Each of these links takes you to a fake login page

that looks genuine — but isn't.

If you enter your name and password,

crooks can hijack your account. 

Don't fall for smishes! 

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I accidentally gave my name, email, and phone number to a phishing scam. I used my temporary email address — not the one linked to my bank account. Will the scammer be able to do anything with this?


You made a smart move having a dedicated email address you only use for important tasks like banking, making mortgage payments, and communicating with government agencies like the IRS. Make sure the password on that account is long and strong. Now, as for the temporary account you shared accidentally, change and strengthen the password. If you accidentally send the scammer your password, shut down the email account (don't just stop using it) and open a new one. 

Does just clicking on a link and opening a bad website infect my phone?

There are rare cases where simply clicking on a link will infect an older computer or phone. For more recent electronic devices, as long as you don't download and open something like a Word doc, PDF, or app...or enter your name and a password to "log in" ...you should be safe. No matter what, it's wise to consider purchasing and installing anti-virus software on your computer. 


How do I set it up so I receive a TEXT any time one of my credit cards is used?

Do a web search for "transaction alert" plus the brand of card you use. You'll need to download and install its app, give permission to send a text or email message, and then customize the amount of purchase that triggers an alert. This is a good way to stay alert for fraud and to track your spending.

Do you have a cybersecurity question?
Let us know!

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • March 2022 a • Edition #141

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