Monday, August 31, 2015

Avoid identity theft and other crimes: Ten tips for safe Cyber Monday shopping

cyber monday

Graphic by Chris Koval

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(Nov. 21, 2012) -- Since its 2005 debut, Cyber Monday, which follows Thanksgiving weekend, has quickly become the biggest online shopping day of the year. It's also a significant day for identity theft and related cybercrimes.

Before you shop online, the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security suggests you follow these tips to say safe:

1. Look before you click: Clicking is easy. Un-clicking? Not so much. When you hover over a link on a webpage, before clicking, the address you will actually connect to shows up in the bottommost line of the browser. Look. If it does not appear to be the site you intend to visit, find the site through search engines or other means. (IPad users should refrain from tapping. Instead, ""touch and hold." This brings up a window that shows the real address.) This is especially important for links that arrive in email. Phony links in fraudulent emails ("phishing") are the greatest threat to your cyber safety this holiday season.

2. Safe site? Double check: Always look at the address in your browser top line. Make sure the link says "https" for any site on which financial transactions occur. Also look for the lock icon in the address bar. These visual cues indicate that the session is encrypted, safe from eavesdropping.

3. Be WiFfi wary: Don't perform financial or any sensitive information transactions over public or any unsecured wireless connection. Your credentials easily can be compromised

4. Be unique: When you register on a site, use a unique password. Password manager applications such as KeePass, LastPass or PasswordSafe can assist with managing passwords.

5. Nobody's business but your own: Don't let a site store your credit card information, if given the option. The fewer places your data is stored, the less chance for unauthorized disclosure.

6. Too much information: Sharing details of purchases on social media may be fun, but visibility means targeting by fraudsters, thieves and "social engineers."

7. Double check: Review all forms for check boxes selected by default. You can be "opting in" for spam or services of which you are not even aware.

8. Trust but verify: Review transactions at your financial institution regularly for unusual charges. This not only helps you catch fraud early, it also assures there were no errors on the side of the online merchant.

9. Cyber hygiene is critical to safety: Keep your computer up to date. It is vital to install patches and update security fixes when software companies recommend, no matter how busy you are at the time.

10. En garde!: Beware of deals that look too good to be true. They probably are.

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About the CIAS

The UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) is the world's foremost center for multidisciplinary education and development of operational capabilities for infrastructure assurance and security. The CIAS was established as part of UTSA in 2001 and has developed and delivered cyber security training, exercise programs and competitions for the past decade. It is a nationally recognized leader in the advancement of state and community cyber security capabilities and collaboration.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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