Following this month's other two articles on cyber security, here is some advice that focuses on one keyword: vigilance.
We must all be vigilant and we should be especially vigilant when it comes to our transactions. Check your bank and credit card statements regularly and frequently review your website purchase transactions.1 Immediately report any transaction that you didn't carry out yourself to your bank.
If you get a message that appears to be from someone you know who says they are having travel difficulties and need you to transfer money so they can return home, beware. They may be a victim of the vacation scam. Any contacts of this individual who transfer money will not only never see it again, they are now themselves at risk of having their email accounts hacked and perpetuating the fraud cycle. It's the domino effect. In case of doubt, check the information by other means and don't transfer any money. Let the person know that their account has probably been hacked and that they should inform their contacts.
How do you protect yourself from the vacation scam? Protect your email account with a strong, unique password. Limit your use of public Wi-Fi (such as in cafés and airports), as it exposes you to a increased risk of hacking, and remember to log out of your email and any other accounts you access while travelling. Similar scams involve messages offering free vacations. If you haven't entered any contests recently and the message asks you to update your account, it is probably a fraud attempt.
Vigilance is definitely one of the best ways to protect yourself, your friends and your family at the same time.
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