Become a Cyber Sleuth
Learn how to detect and avoid cybercrime
The ever-changing techniques used by cybercriminals can be challenging to spot. We are all affected by cybercrime more than we think. Persistent phone calls from the unknown and deteriorating device performances are daily frustrations many people face that may result from cybercriminals. Become a cyber sleuth and learn how to detect and avoid cybercrime.
- Check for built-in features on smartphones.
- Download a call-blocking app.
- Check with your carrier to see what options they offer.
- Block or silence callers.
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers.
- If you do accidentally answer a scam call, hang up immediately.
- Do not answer questions or press buttons on an unknown call, as this verifies your number for the scammer.
How to avoid unwanted calls
- Caller ID Spoofing: Scammers spoof local phone numbers to disguise their identities and build trust. Just because a call looks local doesn’t mean it is.
- Voicemail Hackers: Many voicemails are preset to allow access when called from your own phone number. Set a password on your voicemail so hackers cannot access it.
- Reporting: Let your phone carrier know if you have call-blocking enabled and are still receiving spam calls.
Have you been Hacked?
Check to see if there are posts or messages sent from your account that you did not make. Also, check your name, email, or password to ensure they have not been changed.
If your account HAS been hacked, notify your friends, scan your other devices for malware, and change passwords to all key accounts.
Signs a computer has a virus:
- Slow performance, missing files, and system crashes
- Unexpected pop-ups and applications
If your computer has a virus:
- Use an antivirus program to run a system scan
- Review recommended actions from the computer scan
- Notify your organization and technical support
Scam of the Month
Amanda was waiting for her flight to board at the airport when she decided to download a game to play. Heading to the app store, she scrolled through her options. As she looked at the different Solitaire apps, she decided on one randomly. It had five stars and looked like a typical game. Once downloaded, she was disappointed that it had many glitches and would not close properly. Upon closer inspection, she realized many images on the app and on the description page in the app store were blurry and not the same as a normal game. She dismissed the app as a bad knock-off version and downloaded a new one. Amanda did not use the old app again; her phone started having performance issues soon after. She didn’t realize that when she downloaded the app, her phone was infected with malware: her personal information and account data were now exposed.
Did you spot the red flags?
Just because an app has five stars doesn’t mean it is legitimate. Look at the number of ratings, as well. Popular apps typically have thousands of ratings. Amanda picked an app at random without any investigation. Look for apps that thoroughly explain what they do and include privacy practices. Amanda also did not delete the app or warn others after issues.
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