This holiday security alert was provided to Smith & Howard employees by our Technology Director, Joshua Kirk. We thought it worth sharing.
While many are working on tying up loose ends at work before they head off for the holidays and time with friends and family, there are unfortunately others that see this season as an opportunity for crime. While we should always be vigilant regarding security, this time of year brings its usual uptick in phishing, scams and physical theft. Some things to keep in mind:
- Keep your valuables, laptops and mobile phones locked up and out of sight. This time of year, the number of car break-ins increases, so securing items in a bag in your passenger compartment or within view is not a good idea. Besides the hassle of replacing your valuables and dealing with a damaged car, you risk someone gaining access to personal or company data from your technology devices. If this were to happen to you, be sure to report it to police immediately as well as to your business if it involves company devices and/or data.
- Watch out for phishing emails that tug on your heart, offer a great deal, alert you to an issue with a shipment or play to the season. We often see them soliciting individuals to sign up for something, get a great deal or click on a link to see a funny or seasonal “card”. If the email seems out of sort for the sender, asks you for logon information or is from someone you don’t know, do not click on it.
- Look out for scams. While this is usually a time to help those less fortunate than us, please be careful in your giving. Oftentimes, we see an increase in emails soliciting aid or support for a person or group. Please check them carefully, as some may be scams or even attempts at identity theft. Remember that you can (and should) always check a charity at Charity Navigator.
With any email, do not take the email sender’s name at face value, but instead look at the underlying email address. Often, you will find that the email address bears no relation to the sender’s name.