Scam Alert Tips

SOCIAL MEDIA: Some tips to follow when using social media platforms.
StaySafeOnline by National Cyber Security Alliance

Social media platforms have become an integral part of online lives. Social networks are a great way to stay connected with others, but you should be wary about how much personal information you post.

  • Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.

  • Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Recent research found that 70 percent of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.

  • Your online reputation can be a good thing: Recent research also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. So show your smarts, thoughtfulness and mastery of the environment.

  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking.

  • Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or a “fan” page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information. Use your personal profile to keep your real friends (the ones you know and trust) up to date with your daily life.

  • Be honest if you’re uncomfortable: If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or seems inappropriate, let them know. Likewise, stay open minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them respect those differences.

  • Know what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them and report them to the site administrator.

Protect yourself with these STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tips:
  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

  • Own your online presence: When applicable, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.

  • Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!

  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.

  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

  • Post only about others as you have them post about you. The Golden Rule applies online as well.

For more information go to https://staysafeonline.org

EMAILS: How to spot a fake email? Here are a few tips to follow if an email looks suspicious.
What are some ways to spot a fake email?

While scammers make every attempt to make an email look legitimate, there are a few things you can look for to help you spot fake ones.

  • Check the “from” email address and be aware that even this can be spoofed.

  • Look for spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

  • Check that links in emails are legitimate before clicking on them by hovering over the links with your mouse to see where they go to.

    For instance: You receive an email from Amazon in your inbox. It looks like it is from Amazon, however, you know you did not make any changes to your account. You move your mouse pointer above the link, hold it there and hover, and the link then appears intext form. If it looks suspicious, we recommend you do not click. Take time to login to your Amazon account and change your password. You might also give Amazon a call, to confirm everything is okay with your account. This is a proactive approach in making sure your account is not compromised.

  • NEVER open or download anything unless you are 100% sure it is from a safe source, especially if it is an .EXE file type.

IMPOSTER SCAMS: Tips to follow when a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money.

Imposter Scams have many different looks and can make their way into your home without you even realizing it.

Some of the most popular imposter scams are:

  • Tech Support Scams
  • Grandkid Scams
  • IRS Imposter Scams
  • Online Dating Scams

These short videos from the Federal Trade Commission can help you learn how to spot an imposter.

STRONG PASSWORDS

When setting up passwords don’t use common words or pet/family names. Here are some tips to follow.

PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY

You do things everyday to protect yourself. Be sure to protect your identity as well.

The Federal Trade Commission suggests that you do these 5 things regularly:

  • Read your credit card statements carefully and often

  • Know when your payments are due

  • Read health insurance plans

  • Shred documents with personal information

  • Review your 3 credit reports ( Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year

Eastern Slope takes every effort to protect your Identity as well.

Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) – CPNI includes some of the most sensitive personal information that telecommunication providers have about their members as a result of their business relationship (e.g., phone numbers called; the frequency, duration, and timing of such calls; and any services purchased by the consumer, such as call waiting). Eastern Slope asks all members for a CPNI password to be added to their account for the purposes of protecting their personal information. This CPNI password will be asked of each member before any information is released or changes are made to the account.

For more information about scams and how to protect yourself visit these sites:

      Federal Trade Commission Website: www.consumer.ftc.gov

      Stop Fraud Colorado by the Colorado Attorney General Office: www.stopfraudcolorado.gov