Have you ever received an email with any of the lines (or similar)?

You have just won a free Starbucks card….click here to activate
Click Here to see the status of your Fed-Ex delivery

Travelocity wants to offer you a 50% discount Holiday Discount, Click here for your offer
Hotels.com thinks you deserve a Holiday Weekend at one of our many 5 star resorts – click here to get your offer

UPS is having problems delivering your package, click here to contact us.
During the Holidays, please contribute to those in need – Click here to contribute

Well ————-  the Holiday season has begun!

Commissioner Gannon reminds constituents to be aware of seasonal scams and malware campaigns. Users should be cautious of unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments with malware, advertisements infected with malware, and requests for donations from fraudulent charitable organizations, which could result in security breaches, identify theft, or financial loss.

Falling victim to a phishing attack could seriously dampen one’s holiday cheer. However, while there is no way to eliminate the possibility of being victimized, there are a few best security practices that we can follow to greatly reduce our chances:

  • Ignore and delete messages with poor grammar or formatting, particularly ones that include file attachments or links, as these are indicative of phishing or spam emails. Also be suspicious of emails that are missing names or use nondescript greetings, such as “Dear Mom and Dad.”
  • Never open emails from unknown addresses with undisclosed recipients, especially if the message contains attachments.
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.
  • If you receive an e-greeting card, consider calling the sender first to confirm if they sent one, and if they didn’t, don’t open it, delete it, and delete it from your deleted folder.
  • Always run anti-virus software and keep the signatures up-to-date. If you click on something inappropriate, anti-virus software may prevent a malware infection.
  • Apple devices aren’t immune to malware or phishing. As the number of Apple users has continued to grow, there has been a corresponding increase in malicious software targeting OS X platforms. Apple users should therefore consider installing an anti-virus solution on their home devices.
  • Be wary of fraudulent social media pleas, calls, texts, websites, and door-to-door solicitations for donations to charities.