Cybersecurity Reminders for the Holiday Season
Did you know October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? We’ve got your back with tools and resources to keep you safe. Remember that fraudulent activity peaks during the holidays, starting now through January. Check out the tips below to learn how to keep yourself and your information safe and secure.
An increasingly common form of fraud is the use of phony emails to persuade unsuspecting victims to provide sensitive personal data. This form of attack is called "phishing." To help spot an email phishing attack, ask yourself these questions:
Who is the email from?
If the sender's name or email address is not familiar to you, be very cautious in opening the email.
Pay special attention to the email address domain name. For example, if the email claims to be from a financial institution but the email address is from a webmail account such as Hotmail, it is more than likely a scam.
Is there a URL in the email?
When in doubt, do not click on any URLs in an email. As a best practice, always type the site address into the browser yourself (www.example.com) to ensure that the URL goes to the expected site.
If you click on an infected link directly, this can notify the spammers that you have taken action and trigger the threat.
Is there a threat of immediate detrimental action if you don't respond with personal information?
A message demanding an immediate response deserves a good dose of skepticism. The single most important key to avoiding email scams is to never give sensitive information to anyone unless you can verify that they are who they claim to be, and that they have a legitimate need for the information.
MOBILE DEVICE SAFETY
In today’s environment, smartphones and other mobile devices are playing a major role in how people are entertained, communicate, work, bank and shop. As a mobile user, be sure to protect your mobile device to prevent your information from being compromised:
- Avoid public, unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots. Configure your phone not to automatically connect to a wireless network. This will prevent you from accidentally exposing private/confidential information because you might assume you are on a secure network when in fact you are not.
- Set your device to lock after a set period of inactivity. A recommended inactive period setting is 10 minutes or less. Once auto-lock is activated, only individuals with knowledge of the passcode can unlock the mobile device, protecting your stored information.
- Utilize anti-malware software to consistently analyze and monitor your device. Malware threats to mobile devices are pervasive and escalating, resulting in device or data corruption, data loss, the unavailability of necessary data and more. Mobile malware is actively installed by users who download and install infected apps that appear to be legitimate from an app store.
Passwords are designed to protect our devices and information, but due to the rise in cyber fraud, we must also protect our passwords:
- Do not share your account or login information with anyone. Ameris Bank will never call or send unsolicited emails or text messages asking for account or other confidential information. If you receive communication that appears to be from Ameris Bank asking for confidential information, contact our Customer Service Center at 866.616.6020 immediately.
- Use strong, complex passwords. Passwords should contain a mix of alpha/numeric characters and uppercase and lowercase letters. Avoid obvious passwords or PINs such as your zip code, birth date or social security number. Don't use the same password for every account.
- Change your passwords frequently. By changing your password frequently, we recommend every 30 to 60 days, you can better protect your online accounts from hackers. If you suspect your account or password has been compromised, notify the organization immediately and change your password.
Are you craving more safety tips? View our library of cybersecurity materials.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.