The Summer of Sport

There is an inevitable predictability with your email Inbox.  Any newsworthy event, whether a natural disaster, major sporting event, or even malicious celebrity gossip invokes an email from an entrepreneurial individual with unscrupulous principles promising you something of value in exchange for information personal to you.

Even money intended to assist victims of major natural disasters were not deemed off-limits with emails asking recipients to donate money.  What these recipients were not aware of, was that their goodwill only helped support the lifestyles of these con artists.

So the dramatic increase in scams that have an Olympic flavor really is no surprise, and quite frankly entirely expected.  These scams can take the form of text messages, spam that is delivered through social media, or emails that offer fake tickets, or lottery wins.  Indeed our Labs research team recently published a blog highlighting numerous examples of emails that were Olympic lottery related.

Despite the continuous bombardment of such scams, it would seem that the British public are unaware of risks associated with such high profile sporting events, and the potential impact they could have on them, their device or their data.  Recent research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of McAfee found that only 13% of respondents were worried about cyber threats, and many were simply unaware of the risks.

For those individuals that are aware of the risks, the most common approaches to protecting device’s focus on adding a PIN code to the smartphone, and switching off the Bluetooth.  However less than a third were planning to install security software onto their device, which is necessary for preventing possible malware infecting a device.   Some respondents also said that they did not intend to take their smartphone to the games, in particular 1 in 3 women decided to leave their devices at home, whereas only 1 in 4 men would take that action.  However based on the responses it certainly seemed that Londoners were the most reticent about leaving their smartphone at home even though they seemed the most concerned about a cybersecurity incident at the games.

Whilst leaving the device at home may seem excessive, some simple steps can reduce spectators, and would-be spectators safe from cyber criminals.  By keeping your wits about you, and not falling for the promise of 100 meter final tickets at a ridiculous price is the first step.   In terms of the device, adding a PIN code, and disabling Bluetooth remain sensible steps, as well as ensuring all of your personal information is backed up before you leave for a sporting event.

It does seem a shame to be talking about scams during such a wonderful summer of sport, but by taking some simple steps we can all focus on the games.  For more security tips, and advice on how to stay safe please visit:

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Story added 31. July 2012, content source with full text you can find at link above.