As the Easter holiday approaches, United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) reminds users to stay aware of holiday scams and cyber campaigns, which may include:
- Unsolicited shipping notifications that may actually be scams by attackers to solicit personal information (phishing scams)
- Electronic greeting cards that may contain malicious software (malware)
- Requests for charitable contributions that may be phishing scams or solicitations from sources that are not real charities
- False advertisements for holiday accommodations or timeshares
Human behavior is one of the biggest factors when it comes to avoiding a malware or virus infection to begin with. As such, US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when reviewing unsolicited messages. Suggested preventive measures to protect against phishing scams and malware campaigns include:
- Do not click web links in untrusted email messages.
- Refer to the Shopping Safely Online Tip.
- Use caution when opening email attachments. See the Using Caution with Email Attachments Tip for more information on safely handling email attachments.
- Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams. Use the links there to verify a charity’s authenticity before you donate.
- Read the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks Tip.
- Refer to the Holiday Traveling with Personal Internet-Enabled Devices Tip for more information on protecting personal mobile devices.