We all wear many hats throughout the year and during the holidays, a Santa hat may be one of them! As you're making your list and checking it twice, jot down a few tips and ideas from this December issue.
It begins with a warning about fraudulent package delivery emails. While these are always out there, during the Christmas season they tend to become even more prevalent; scammers hope you'll be expecting lots of package deliveries and will fall for their fake notices. Speaking of fake, you'll also learn about catfishing (the use of fake online identities) as well as how to avoid a fake Wi-Fi connection while at a coffee shop. On a more festive note, you can enjoy a "ho, ho, ho" lot of recipe and decorating ideas and reminisce with a Bing Crosby Christmas video.
The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The eCurrents Team
Phishing Alert – Watch For Fraudulent Package Delivery Emails
This Month's FAQ – I've Heard The Term "Catfishing" Used Recently. What Does It Mean?
Question: A friend mentioned seeing a documentary about an online scam called catfishing. What is it and how can I avoid it?
Answer: Catfishing is when someone creates a false identity to lure you into a false romantic relationship online. The term was coined by the documentary Catfish, which tells the story of a woman who used Facebook to create a fake online identity. Such a "relationship" can involve exchanging messages on Facebook or another social media site, texting, emailing, and so on. Catfishing relationships usually begin to unravel when the perpetrator refuses to talk on the phone or via Skype, and won't reveal basic information like a home address. These scammers may be lonely, bored, or in some way out for revenge. They may even try to get you to give them money.
If you suspect you are being catfished, do a search for the person's name to see if the information that comes up checks out with what that person has told you. Also, look at their social media profiles; if they are recently established, rarely used, or include few connections, that's another clue. Even if the person is legitimate, their motivations may not be. Don't give money or take any other actions that wouldn't be appropriate in a similar offline relationship. You can avoid catfishing by being selective about who you communicate with online, as well as what you tell them, and by regularly updating social media privacy settings and account passwords.
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In December
Reclaim Forgotten Assets unclaimed.org – The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has created this site to help you reclaim property you may have forgotten about including bank accounts, stocks, trust distributions, CDs, safe deposit box contents, and more. Just click on the map to search by your name in your state.
101 Holiday Cookies foodnetwork.com – For gifts, entertaining, or just for fun, check out this mouth-watering cookie gallery. View photos and get recipes for a wide variety of types (bars, sandwiches, dipped), flavors (chocolate, cinnamon, fruit), and shapes (crescent, swirled, candy cane). Use the social media buttons to share with friends.
Temporary Email Addresses maildrop.cc – MailDrop offers free, disposable, receive-only email addresses to use instead of your real email address. A MailDrop inbox holds up to 10 messages and is cleared if it doesn't receive a message within 24 hours. Use it to receive e-commerce receipts without signing up for retailers' "latest offers."
Holiday Lights Around the World travel.nationalgeographic.com – From Japan to Copenhagen to Sweden to the U.S., this site shows the best places in the world to see holiday lights. Check out the beautiful variety of decorations hung on shops, in gardens, at amusement parks, and other creative places. Plus, learn about the displays and the traditions they represent.
Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss
Bing Crosby Christmas Even the Scroogiest will appreciate this video, which includes clips of the crooner's famous "White Christmas" and a reminder of the holiday's best qualities. It's a perfect respite for the busy end-of-year season.
Mountain Bike Ride Ready for some extreme sporting without the danger? Check out this video and prepare to be wowed. Mountain biker Kelly McGarry's helmet-camera-filmed ride includes frighteningly narrow paths and several flips.
Short Tutorial – How To Protect Your Data When Using Public Wi-Fi
Access to Wi-Fi in public places — such as coffee shops, hotels, and airports — can be very convenient. It's great to be able to use your mobile device practically anywhere you go. However, as with most Internet-related activities, there are potential dangers including stolen data.
Follow these tips to avoid problems:
Start with your mobile device at home. Make sure all antivirus, anti-spyware, and browsing software is updated. Keep your firewall activated at all times.
Treat all Wi-Fi connections with suspicion. Hackers can set up fake connections whose names might look legitimate.
At the Wi-Fi location, ask someone who works there the name of the network to be sure you're accessing the right one. If you have a choice between a password-protected connection and a non-password-protected connection, choose password protection even if you have to pay for it.
Refrain from completing private transactions, such as banking or purchases that require you to enter a credit card number, using a Wi-Fi connection. Save these activities for home.
Even if you're still operating your device, turn off the Wi-Fi connection when you're done using the Internet.
We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins, please see the links at the bottom of this email to manage your preferences.