CHICAGO, March 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- March is an exciting time for diehard and casual college basketball fans alike, but anyone planning to have fun around the tournament should stay vigilant to protect their personal and financial information from cyberthreats. The tournament is an opportune time for cybercriminals to send out phishing scams, steal sensitive information, and scam you out of money. To help fans avoid becoming victims of cybercrime, Keeper Security is providing the following cybersecurity tips.
#1 Be on the lookout for phishing scams. Cybercriminals use phishing scams to steal your personal information. During the tournament, cybercriminals may send phishing emails or text messages with malicious links or attachments disguised as updates on games or brackets. To avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack, do not open attachments or click on links from unknown sources, verify that it's a trusted source requesting the information and check all links to make sure they're not leading you to a malicious site. Scammers also use social engineering to trick people into sending them money using any information they can find about you. They may impersonate a friend or family member claiming to be in urgent need of money to buy tickets or place bets on games. Scammers may even impersonate the athletes themselves or their family members with stories about needing money to get to the game.
#2 Create strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. When creating accounts to follow the games, create a bracket or take part in the fun of the tournament any other way, it may be tempting to reuse passwords. Make sure you have different, high-strength passwords for all of your accounts. This way, if one account is breached, a cybercriminal does not gain access to all of them. Passwords should be at least 12 characters with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, a variety of special characters and a random assortment of numbers. Also, consider using a passphrase rather than a single word. Avoid using easily guessable information such as familiar names, birthdates and addresses. A password manager can generate and securely store strong passwords, which can be especially useful for accounts that are infrequently used. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication for your accounts as an additional layer of security.
#3 Be wary of free sports streams. Cord cutters and fans trying to get around regional blackouts often turn to the internet in search of free streams to watch their favorite teams, but they may end up paying the price with their security. While there are legitimate websites and apps that will stream certain games for free, the websites that host illegal streams may also host ads for questionable content or products and malicious links that could install malware that will harm your system.
#4 Don't fall for fake ticket sales or fake brackets. Fake tickets are abundant during any major sporting event, but if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Only buy tickets from reputable sellers that offer a secure payment system and recourse if the tickets don't come through. The tournament is also a time when more fans are trying to win money on the games, and scammers are ready to take advantage. They may create fake bracket contests promising large prizes to the winners. Once they collect your entry fee or personal information, though, they disappear and the winners never receive their prizes.
#5 Be cautious when using public WiFi. If you're going to watch the tournament at a venue offering WiFi, think twice before connecting. Public WiFi is a key battleground for cybercriminals. Thus, without proper protections, you may be vulnerable to both a cyberattack and eavesdropping. Open public WiFi should not be used to send any personal or financial information. The use of public computers should be avoided for the same reason. Use a trusted network with a strong WiFi password, a VPN when possible, and ensure your home router's software is up to date.
To avoid falling victim to sports-related scams, always be cautious of unsolicited messages or offers, double-check the authenticity of the sender or the website, and never provide personal information or payment without verifying the legitimacy of a transaction. By following these simple tips, fans will be far less likely to fall victim to cybercrime this March.
Keeper Security is transforming how people secure their passwords and confidential information against growing online threats. Forgot your password? That'll never happen again with Keeper's easy-to-use password manager that saves you time, increases your security and streamlines your online experience. Built to the highest zero-trust and zero-knowledge standards, Keeper protects you and your family on every device. Keeper is trusted by millions of people globally with more than 230,000 5-star reviews in the app stores, and is recognized by publications including PCMag and U.S. News & World Report as the leader for password storage, secure sharing and encrypted messaging. Learn more at KeeperSecurity.com.