June 23, 2014

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Don’t Get Burned By World Cup Scams Or Apps

Cybercriminals wasted no time in developing World Cup related scams and malicious mobile phone apps. It’s important that World Cup fans know that large sporting events draw not only passionate fans, but, also, super-savvy cybercriminals. World Cup related scams are designed to exploit a fan’s excitement through online offers that are too good to be true.

Scams could come in the form of a phishing attack that tricks someone into entering their username, password, and other sensitive information. Another popular form of attack come as email notifications congratulating you for winning a lottery and that for a small fee you’ll receive free tickets, money, or, in some cases, an all expenses paid trip to the games in Brazil. Some of these links are delivered via social media sites, such as Twitter.

Want to play World Cup-themed games or follow the games online? Think twice about downloading one of over 375 free Android apps, at last count, that could lead to your mobile phone being hacked via malicious code, or worst, held for ransom. Also, many sites offering World Cup news and highlights or free online streams of the games are fraudulent and could lead to your personal information being stolen.

Avoid Becoming a Victim Of World Cup Fever

  • Don’t open unsolicited emails offering unbelievable deals or congratulating you for winning a lottery you never entered, as they’re designed to steal, or phish, your personal information.
  • Avoid public WiFi; or if unavoidable, steer clear of sites that ask for your username and password.
  • Do your banking at the bank and avoid using ATMs that could be rigged to capture your information.
  • Be on the lookout for fraudulent websites when searching the Internet for World Cup related news or players.
  • Avoid downloading apps from third-party download sites.
  • Update your computer’s security software and browsers.
  • Be careful when downloading free mobile phone apps that could end up costing you a fortune; tons of pop-up ads are a red flag.
  • Install mobile security and antivirus software (and keep it updated!) on your Android mobile phone.
  • FIFA is the ONLY source for “official” and “guaranteed” tickets.

Be skeptical if extraordinary World Cup offers come your way, like inexpensive real estate or rentals in Brazil. Good judgment and common sense are your best protection. Beat cyber criminals by being prepared in advance.

Photo courtesy of Ezzy Languzzi

 

Ezzy Languzzi

Ezzy is a working mother and educator. She writes from the perspective of a parent seeking to strike a balance between all that technology has to offer and its privacy implications. Ezzy lives in Boston with her husband, son, two dogs, and two chickens.

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