Avoid the Cyber Risks of the Olympic Games
July 31, 2012
Allison here, with AllClear ID. The London Olympics are underway! You might not be anywhere close to winning a gold medal on the balance beam, but you can avoid falling into a world of hurt by staying on your toes when it comes to the cybercrime and spam emails looking to use the 2012 games as a way to lure people into giving up their personal info.
With everyone watching the events and rooting on their native countries, there’s been a huge spike in all sorts of spam and cybercrime, ranging from fake sites selling tickets to the events to emails trying to sell 2012 London Olympics souvenirs and memorabilia. Officials are doing all that they can to keep these things in check and to encourage people to visit legitimate sites for video, tickets, and memorabilia– but they can only do so much. Cybercriminals are banking on the traffic and the attention to get people to let their guard down and to steal identities when folks are preoccupied with the fanfare of winning a medal.
The number one thing people can do is to not let their guard down. Be wary of anything Olympics-related that comes through email, social media, text, even mobile apps and videos. It’s one thing if you’re looking at something on NBC or the BBC, but be suspicious of a link sent through text and even that video your friend posted on Facebook. Websites like NBC, the BBC, and the Official London Olympics websites are all okay, and provide legitimate videos, apps, and information regarding anything and everything Olympics. Anything that isn’t coming from a legitimate site could put yourself and others at risk for malware, viruses, and identity theft.
Estimates reveal that nearly a billion people will follow these games, so this problem will affect more than those who are in London. Staying safe from cybercrime is something everyone will have to mindful of, even those who are simply checking scores and watching highlights online (actually, those may be the most at risk despite being some of the more passive followers). There may not be a medal for keeping your identity in safe hands, but there are certainly consequences for not being practicing online and computer safety this summer.