Panda Labs has published an advisory to help users protect themselves against cybercriminals and their schemes this summer.
“In the summer, many people book flights online to get to their holiday destinations,” explained Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.
“Cyber-crooks are taking advantage of this situation to send a new wave of fake emails aimed at tricking users into opening the attachments and infecting their computers.”
Users have already started seeing all sorts of shady emails purporting to come from American Airlines
or Delta Airlines
. While some of them point to phishing websites, others are designed to spread pieces of malware that can steal passwords and other sensitive information.
So, what can you do to stay safe this summer?
First of all, don’t share too much information about your vacation on social media websites, especially if your privacy settings allow anyone to read your posts. Criminals can find out when your home is empty and for how long, which is never a good thing.
During the summer season, children tend to spend more time on their computers. The more they surf the web, the more likely that they’ll download some piece of malware or befriend some shady character. Be sure to deploy parental controls to minimize the risks.
While on holiday, you might be tempted to check your email or other accounts from shared devices. In reality, these machines could contain all sorts of keyloggers that can swipe your password in a heartbeat, so you should avoid using public computers as much as possible.
Also, beware of shared Wi-Fi networks. Nowadays, not even the connections from hotels
are 100% safe, not to mention those from public locations.
Many problems with your computer can be avoided if you keep all the critical components updated at all times. Most pieces of malware make their way onto your hard drive via vulnerabilities that have been long patched by vendors.
Finally, the antivirus. You might not want to spend a fortune on security software, and you don’t have to. Just install a free variant from a reputable company. If you combine the protection it offers you with some common sense, you’ll surely be safe.
Have a nice, safe summer!