TIP OF THE WEEK online safety

SMS SECURITY INC (909) 307-1007
SMS SECURITY INC (909) 307-1007



I receive lots of email regarding email scams, spam, and phishing attempts (both in terms of work and personal email accounts).  Most of what we are seeing is spam and/or junk email that is just trying to sell the recipient something (or attempt to collect data on your spending and purchasing habits).


It is the Holiday season and many of us are enjoying the holiday spirit.  We are busy buying gifts and setting up holiday events. We are sending and receiving many email messages we would not normally send during any other time of year. We are also less suspicious and more trusting of email messages because we expect this type email during the holidays.

There are those who would take advantage of our generous and trusting holiday nature.  As always, it is important to remember to be suspicious and exercise caution in opening unusual email, their attachments, the associated weblinks, and responding to unsolicited text messages and offers or deals that seem too good to be true.  I can’t emphasize enough … use common sense and trust your instincts when the deal just seems too good to be true or something just feels wrong.

Right now, there are lots of messages that look like package deliveries.  Use caution if you receive an email stating that FedEx, UPS, DHL or the U.S. Postal Service is trying to deliver a package.  Did you provide your email address to the shipper? Unless you provided your email address for notification, it is unlikely that it is from the shipper. There is a chance that opening the link or attachment will lead to installing a virus or other malware on your computer.

Most major shippers have web pages warning you about these email messages.

FedEx    http://www.fedex.com/us/security/prevent-fraud/index.html

UPS        http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/about/news/service_updates/20110330_fraud.html

DHL        http://www.dhl-usa.com/en/legal/fraud_awareness.html

USPS     https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/radDocs/consumer/SpamAlert.pdf


I suggest if you receive such links for eBay, PayPal, USPS, USP, FedEx, (et cetera) that rather than clicking on the link, you actually type the URL in your browser.  Don’t trust the weblinks in an email … especially, if you will need to authenticate with an ID and password.

When in doubt, look up the courier service's callback number and dial it. Do not use the number in the email (or on the postcard if you receive it that way)

However, no matter how cautious we are, we are all human and we all make mistakes.  We suggest you keep your PC’s software updated to help keep your computer less vulnerable in case you make a mistake.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility.  STOP – THINK – CONNECT!   To get more information on IT security,  securing your home network and protecting your family’s privacy, go to www.StaySafeOnline.org.


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