cybersecurity

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Data Privacy in 2020

Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Data Privacy in 2020 1

The end of 2019 is rapidly approaching, and with the coming of a new year comes the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the months ahead. What will 2020 bring when it comes to cybersecurity and what can users do to ensure that they’re protected in the upcoming year? From new data privacy laws to how organizations collect and store user data, the new year will certainly bring plenty of security implications for users. Let’s take a look at a few predictions we have for the year to come.

More Awareness, More Regulations

After a security breach is disclosed, users often learn what can go wrong with their data and may start to wonder what will happen if their information gets into the wrong hands. That’s why new privacy laws will likely be implemented to empower users to better protect and control their data. For example, the new California privacy law set to go into effect January 2020 will allow consumers to instruct companies to delete their personal information and to opt-out of having their private data shared. These new regulations will allow users to better control their data and who has access to it. However, more regulations also create a more complicated landscape for individuals to navigate. Consumers will likely see more “consent” requests attached to any online data collection. That said, it is important to pay close attention to what consumers are agreeing to when they click “consent.”

With these new privacy laws, the method and level of transparency that organizations use to collect and store user data will likely come under scrutiny, particularly as data breaches become public. For example, companies make billions of dollars annually by buying and selling personal information that isn’t theirs to sell. The more data a company has on a user, the more insight cybercriminals have to infiltrate their digital life and trick them into sharing more information. 

New Tricks for the New Year

As more data is collected from various breaches, cybercriminals will look to leverage this information as a way to better understand which users to target and how exactly to target them. With the help of social engineering and artificial intelligence, these crooks will up the ante and turn old cyber tricks into sophisticated, unfamiliar threats. Take call spoofing, for example. By taking advantage of a user’s private data and new technology, cybercriminals could implement a fake call that appears to be coming from the user’s friend or family member. Because users are more likely to pick up a call from someone they know or a number that shares their same area code, cybercriminals increase the chances that their malicious attacks will be successful.

Dark Web Draws in More Data

With the number of breached records growing every day, users need to be aware of how crooks are leveraging this information in the cybercriminal underground and on the Dark Web. According to the McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team, more than 2.2 billion stolen account credentials were made available on the cybercriminal underground throughout Q1 2019 alone. This growing trend of personal online accounts being brokered on the Dark Web and the increasingly sophisticated threats that have recently emerged means that the 2019 holiday season could be the most dangerous yet.

With these predictions for the cybersecurity landscape in 2020, what resolutions can users make to help ensure that their data is protected? Follow these security tips to help safeguard your personal information:

  • Never reuse passwords. With just one hack, cybercriminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords, which they can then use to try to access multiple accounts. Ensure that all of your passwords are complex and unique.
  • Go directly to the source. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it’s always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use a comprehensive security solution, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.
  • Use a tool to help protect your personal information. A solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.

And, as always, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Data Privacy in 2020 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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How to Ensure You Don’t Fall Victim to a Holiday Scam this Festive Season

How to Ensure You Don’t Fall Victim to a Holiday Scam this Festive Season 2

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, I have no doubt that he’d revise his famous quote: ‘Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes’ to include online holiday scams! For there is no question that online scammers and cybercriminals love the festive season! The bulk of us are time-poor, stressed, and sporting to-do lists as long as our arms – so cybercrims know it’s inevitable that some of us are going to take short cuts with our online safety and fall into their webs!

And McAfee research shows just that with over a third of Aussies having either fallen victim to or know someone who has been affected by a phishing scam in 2019. A phishing scam is when a scammer poses as a trustworthy entity (for example, a bank or government department) usually via email with the sole purpose of trying to extract sensitive information such as passwords, usernames and credit card details. And clearly, phishing is a very lucrative online trick as it was named as the worst scam of 2019!

Top Scams of 2019

Although phishing scams have taken out the top place for 2019, robocalling scams and shipping notification scams have also caused Aussies great pain this calendar year.

If you receive a phone call with a pre-recorded message that presents a grim scenario if you don’t take action then you’ve been robocalled! My family’s ‘favourite’ one from 2019 was the scam which delivered a pre-recorded message advising us that our phone line would be cut unless we spoke immediately to their technician. The Australian Telecommunications Ombudsman was overrun with complaints about this particular heist which backs up McAfee’s research that shows 32% of Aussies either fell victim to this scam, or knew someone who did.

Shipping notification scams have also caused Aussies grief this year with more than a 1/4 of us (26%) affected or in touch with someone who was. The meteoric rise of online shopping has meant that when many of us are notified about an impending delivery, we probably don’t stop to question its authenticity.

How Much Are Scams Costing Aussies?

In Australia, 1 in 10 scam victims (11%) have lost money as a result of being targeted by a scam. And a quarter of those affected have lost more than $500! Now, that’s a sizeable chunk of cash!

But in addition to an initial monetary sting, having your personal details ‘stolen’ via a scam may come back to haunt you later down the track. According to McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research (ATR), more than 2.2 billion stolen account credentials were made available on the criminal underground in just the first 3 months of 2019!

Cybercriminals Love the Holidays!

The holiday season is particularly stressful for consumers, and cybercriminals plan accordingly. Many of us ramp up our online shopping in the lead-up to the holiday period and, as our ‘to-do’ lists get longer, some of us will inevitably let our guard down online. And cybercriminals know this too well so consequently spend a lot of effort devising cunning schemes to take advantage of our corner-cutting.

Cybercriminals put a lot of effort into devising fake accounts and sites to target consumers around key holiday shopping periods however some Aussies aren’t aware of these ploys with 21% of the Aussies interviewed not aware scams like these existed.

How to Ensure You Don’t Fall Victim to a Holiday Scam this Festive Season 3

How Can Consumers Stay Safe This Holiday Period?

I highly recommend that you (and your family members) take a little time this holiday period to sure up your online safety. Here are a few simple steps that consumers can take to protect themselves and avoid getting scammed this festive period:

  1. Think Before Clicking on Links

With phishing scams revealed to be the worst scam of the year, it is more important than ever to think before clicking on links. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it is always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.

  1. Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

With just one hack, cybercriminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords, which they can then use to try to access multiple accounts. By using a different password for each, shopping, media streaming or social media account, you can dramatically reduce this risk.

  1. Invest in Security Protection Software

Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.

  1. Consider a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A solution like McAfee Safe Connect with bank-grade encryption, private browsing services, and internet security will keep your information safe from cybercriminals – even when checking emails or online shopping on public Wi-Fi or open networks.

And finally beware bogus gift card scams! One new trend that is set to hit unsavvy consumers hard this holiday season is phoney gift cards, with McAfee’s ATR team seeing fake gift cards sold on the cybercriminal underground. Yet, despite the rise in this scam, 17 per cent of the survey respondents have never heard of bogus gift cards and over a quarter (26%) reported that they are not concerned about the threat. So, please spread the word and do your homework before buying gift cards!

Here’s to a Happy, Scam-Free Holiday Season!

The post How to Ensure You Don’t Fall Victim to a Holiday Scam this Festive Season appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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7 Ways to Wreck a Cybercrook’s Holidays

7 Ways to Wreck a Cybercrook’s Holidays 4

holiday scams’Tis the season for giving and who better to give a giant headache to than the digital scammers working overtime to wreck our holidays? Can we spot and unravel every scam out there? Probably not. But, by taking a few minutes to get equipped to click, we can dodge common traps laid by cybercrooks and wreck their holidays before they get a chance to wreck ours.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robo Calls

As informed as most of us may profess to be, American consumers continue to step into cyber traps every day. In fact, according to a recent McAfee survey, in 2019, 74% of those surveyed admitted to losing more than $100 in scams and almost a third (30%) losing more than $500. The survey also revealed that 48% of Americans have been or know someone who has been a victim of robocalling in 2019, making it the most prevalent scam of the year. Email phishing (41%) and text phishing (35%) are also tricks we fell for in 2019.

Cybercrooks call those stats a very happy holiday.

Are you equipped to click?

We can do our part to reduce these statistics. Before we all get distracted with shopping sprees or fall into sugar comas, call a family huddle. Discuss ways to avoid the digital traps and send cybercrooks into a maze of locked doors and dead ends. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

7 ways to wreck a cybercrook’s holidays

  1. Get real about cybercrime. Don’t sugar coat cybercrime for your kids. Here’s the truth: Over 2.2 billion stolen account credentials were made available on the cybercriminal underground throughout Q1 2019 alone, which puts a priceless amount of user data at risk. Crooks are targeting us. They are shopping the black web for stolen data to use in a variety of illegal ways. If we fail to lock our digital doors, the consequences can be emotionally and financially devastating and may last years.
  2. Shake up your passwords. Never use the same password. By uncovering one of your passwords,  cybercriminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords, which they can then use to try to access multiple accounts. So change passwords often and use a variety, especially around the holidays when online shopping spikes.
  3. Verify emails. Slow down to examine emails. Instead of clicking on an email link, check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment. Cybercriminals are getting very sophisticated. They are creating full websites that closely mimic brand retailers. Also, they are posing as friends, family, and colleagues in an attempt to get you to click a link that will download malicious malware onto your computer.
  4. Browse securely. Use a comprehensive security solution to help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and malicious websites.
  5. Use a tool to help protect your personal information. Take a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help your identity secure.
  6. Verify shipments. Cybercrooks understand consumer habits. They know you’ve likely ordered from several online retailers, so they will exploit that and try to confuse you by sending bogus shipment notifications or reward  you with “added offers.” The email will look legitimate. It will likely have a legitimate-looking email address and branding of the retailer or shipping company. Check directly with the source before clicking any link in an offer or shipment notification.
  7. Protect your identity. Criminals are on the prowl to find weak links anywhere personal data is kept — the includes credit card companies and banks. Get proactive in protecting your identity and the identities of your family members with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools.

Even with the threats that exist around us, keep your sights fixed on the bigger picture. The holiday season is still merry and bright. People are still good. And, peace on earth — and in your home — is still possible this year. With a little foresight and a few cool tools, you are more than able to protect the things that matter most.

To stay informed on the latest digital news, trends, and family safety insights, subscribe to this and other McAfee blogs. Follow @McAfee_Family on Twitter to join the digital parenting conversation.

The post 7 Ways to Wreck a Cybercrook’s Holidays appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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Beat Black Friday Scammers: Secure Your Online Purchases From Fake Payment Processors

Beat Black Friday Scammers: Secure Your Online Purchases From Fake Payment Processors 5

They see you when you’re shopping, they know when you click “pay” – cybercriminals, that is. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals flooding the internet, malicious actors have many opportunities to exploit users rushing to purchase gifts for family and friends. And according to Ars Technica, thieves have devised a new way to steal payment-card data from online shoppers, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

So, what makes this particular scam different from other credit and debit card scams? Many e-commerce sites will choose to offload payment card charges to third-party payment service platforms, or PSPs. However, cybercriminals have developed fake payment service platforms that highly resemble legitimate PSPs. Rather than infecting a merchant’s checkout page with malware that skims the information after it’s been inputted by the user, cybercriminals infect the merchant site by adding a line or two of code, which redirects the user to a fake PSP at the time of purchase.

Beat Black Friday Scammers: Secure Your Online Purchases From Fake Payment Processors 6
Image provided by Ares Technica.

What makes this scam so stealthy? Apart from swapping legitimate payment processing sites with fraudulent ones, cybercriminals closely mimic the traits of real e-banking pages to further trick the user into believing that their purchase is secure. For example, the fake payment processing page checks all the fields once the user completes them or informs the user if the field is invalid. Once the fake PSP collects the data, it redirects the unsuspecting user to the legitimate PSP and includes the purchase amount after successfully stealing the victim’s information.

Payment-service platforms are common in the world of e-commerce, particularly for smaller websites that don’t have the resources to harden their servers against sophisticated attacks. As a result, users need to be on high alert for these malicious schemes. Check out the following tips to help prevent your data from being swiped by cybercriminals.

  • Be on the lookout for suspicious activity. This particular scam redirects users from the fake PSP back to the legitimate payment site after their information has already been accepted. If you’re being asked for personal or financial data more than once, the site has likely been infected with malicious code.
  • Review your accounts. Be sure to look over your credit card and banking statements and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
  • Place a fraud alert. If you suspect that your data might have been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit. This not only ensures that any new or recent requests undergo scrutiny, but also allows you to have extra copies of your credit report so you can check for suspicious activity.
  • Use a comprehensive security solution. Safeguard yourself from cybercriminals with a comprehensive security solution like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect you from malware, phishing, and other threats.

And, of course, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

The post Beat Black Friday Scammers: Secure Your Online Purchases From Fake Payment Processors appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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2.2 Million Users Affected By Latest Data Exposure: 4 Tips to Stay Secure

2.2 Million Users Affected By Latest Data Exposure: 4 Tips to Stay Secure 7

The digitalization of data allows it to move effortlessly and be accessed from devices and places around the world within a matter of seconds. This also makes it possible for businesses, organizations, and even individuals to collect and analyze this data for a variety of reasons. However, not all of these purposes are well-intentioned. More often than not, cybercriminals use the abundance of digital data to their advantage. According to Ars Technica and security researcher Troy Hunt, password data and other personal information belonging to as many as 2.2 million users of two websites – a cryptocurrency wallet service and a gaming bot provider — has been posted on the Dark Web.

What information is included in these databases? The first data haul includes personal information for as many as 1.4 million accounts from the GateHub cryptocurrency wallet service. The cybercriminal who posted this 3.72GB database stated that it also includes two-factor authentication keys, mnemonic phrases, and wallet hashes. The second haul contains data for about 800,000 accounts on RuneScape’s bot provider EpicBot, including usernames and IP addresses. Both databases include registered email addresses and hashed passwords.

So, what lessons can we learn from this data dump and what can we do to help secure our information? Check out the following security tips to help protect your digital data.

  • Be vigilant when monitoring your personal and financial data. A good way to determine whether your data has been exposed or compromised is to closely monitor your online accounts. If you see anything fishy, take extra precautions by updating your privacy settings, changing your password, or using two-factor authentication.
  • Use strong, unique passwords. Make sure to use complex passwords for each of your accounts, and never reuse your credentials across different platforms. It’s also a good idea to update your passwords consistently to further protect your data.
  • Watch out for other cyberattacks. Be on high alert for other malicious attacks where cybercriminals could use stolen credentials to exploit users, such as spear phishing.
  • Check to see if you’ve been affected. If you or someone you know has a GateHub or EpicBot account, use this tool to check if you could have been potentially affected.

And, of course, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post 2.2 Million Users Affected By Latest Data Exposure: 4 Tips to Stay Secure appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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This Holiday Season, Watch Out for These Cyber-Grinch Tricks

This Holiday Season, Watch Out for These Cyber-Grinch Tricks 8

Whether it be that their shoes are too tight, their heads aren’t screwed on just right, or they’re expressing a little bit of “Bah Humbug,” cyber-grinches and cyber-scrooges everywhere view the holiday season as a perfect opportunity to exploit users. In fact, McAfee recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in the U.S. from October 10-20, 2019 to shed light on the types of scams they encountered this year. Let’s take a look at how criminals are attempting to steal the fun of the holiday season with various scams.

Ribbons, Wrappings, and Robocalls

The survey revealed that 48% of Americans have been a victim of or know someone who has been a victim of robocalling in 2019, making it the most prevalent scam of the year. Respondents also reported that they had been targeted with email phishing (41%) and text phishing (35%) in 2019. Another popular trend this year among these crooks? What’s old is new again. While cybercriminal activity has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, survey results showed that these less sophisticated scams of Christmas are still a popular avenue for cybercriminals to exploit.

Combined, all these scams have left quite a financial impact. 74% of respondents admitted to losing more than $100 to these scams, while 30% lost more than $500. What’s more, over 2.2 billion stolen account credentials were made available on the cybercriminal underground throughout Q1 2019 alone, posing an even greater threat to users’ data.

Between all the threats stemming from these cyber-grinches and cyber-scrooges, scams have the potential to haunt users’ digital past, present, and future. Which begs the question – what should users do? They can start by first reading McAfee’s own Christmas Carol:

This Holiday Season, Watch Out for These Cyber-Grinch Tricks 9

Be on the Lookout for These Cyber-Grinch Tricks

While most users believe that cyber-scams become more prevalent during the holidays, a third don’t actually take any steps to change their online behavior. In fact, by cutting some corners to pave way for holiday fun, users may be putting themselves at more risk than they realize. While using devices and apps for tasks like holiday shopping, streaming TV shows, and food delivery services, users are sharing more personal information than ever before. By targeting these popular apps, cybercriminals can collect and store key data, including home addresses, credit card information, and account passwords that they can use for future attacks.

Another trend that’s set to hit unsavvy users this holiday season is phony gift cards, with McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research team discovering phony gift cards sold on the cybercriminal underground. However, the survey found that only 43% of respondents are aware of fake gift cards as a threat. What’s more, users are also failing to check shopping websites, with over one-third (37%) of respondents admitting that they don’t check an email sender or retailer’s website for authenticity. By not being mindful of these grinchy tricks, users open themselves up to many avenues of exploitation.

Securing Your Holiday Season

We must stop these Christmas scams from coming, but how? To help ensure a cyber-grinch doesn’t put a damper on your holiday season, check out the following security tips.

  • Never reuse passwords. With just one hack, cybercriminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords, which they can then use to try to access multiple accounts. Ensure that all of your passwords are complex and unique.
  • Go directly to the source. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it’s always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use a comprehensive security solution, likeMcAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.
  • Use a tool to help protect your personal information. A solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.

And, as always, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post This Holiday Season, Watch Out for These Cyber-Grinch Tricks appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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