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Before you click on any Olympics links, read this

Before you click on any Olympics links, read this
© Dennizn | Dreamstime.com

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea are in full swing, have you been watching?

It's been 94 years since the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924, at Chamonix in the French Alps. The two-week spectacle will showcase the finest athletes from around the globe as they compete in events such as figure skating, Alpine skiing, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey and many others.

Olympic games are extremely popular and many people look forward to consuming as much information about them as possible. Unfortunately, that makes them a prime target for cybercriminals. Which is why you need to know about these tricky scams making the rounds right now.

Winter Olympic scams are in heavy circulation

There have already been a number of scams reported that are using the draw of the Winter Olympics to target victims. And the number of scams are expected to increase drastically over the next couple weeks.

The attacks are coming in the form of phishing scams. Messages are showing up in victims' email inboxes that contain malicious links.

Identity theft, stolen credentials, and your critical files being encrypted by ransomware are a few nasty results of phishing attacks. Which is why it's critical to avoid falling victim to them at all costs.

You might receive emails claiming to link to videos of unseen Olympic competitions, deals on gear seen in PyeongChang, or anything relating to the Winter Games. Be wary of these types of emails, there's a decent chance it's a phishing scam.

Like most trending events, cybercriminals are using the Winter Olympics to spread these phishing scams. When people's interests are peaked in an event like this, they are more likely to click on messages that pertain to it, making more potential victims.

How to avoid falling victim to a phishing attack

Here are some suggestions that will help you avoid falling victim to phishing attacks.

Be cautious with links

Do not follow web links in unsolicited email messages, it could be a phishing attack. Cybercriminals always take advantage of popular websites and trending news stories to try and find new victims. That's why you need to be able to recognize a phishing scam.

One thing to watch for with phishing attacks are typos, criminals are typically careless with spelling and grammar. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.

Have strong security software

Make sure you're using strong antivirus software on all of your gadgets. And keep them up-to-date for the best protection. This is the best way to keep your device from being infected with malware.

Set up two-factor authentication 

Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, means that to log in to your account, you need two ways to prove you are who you say you are. It's like the DMV or bank asking for two forms of ID. This adds an extra layer of security and should be used whenever a site makes it available. Click here to learn how to set up two-factor authentication.

Use unique passwords

Many people use the same password for multiple websites. This is a terrible mistake. If your credentials are stolen from one site and you use the same username and/or password on others, it's easy for the cybercriminal to get into each account. Click here to find out how to create hack-proof passwords.

Protect your critical data

These latest Olympic phishing attacks are an attempt for criminals to steal your credentials and money. However, they could end up changing the payload to something more devious, like ransomware.

That's why you should always keep a backup of your data, so you can restore your device in case of an emergency. We recommend using an online backup service such as our sponsor IDrive.

With IDrive, you can backup all your PCs, Macs and mobile devices into ONE account for one low cost. Also, it has recently added a new feature called Snapshots.

IDrive Snapshots is an historical view of user data stored in your IDrive account, which allows users to perform point-in-time recovery of their critical files. If your data gets infected with encryption based ransomware, all you have to do is select a timeline before infection and restore it.

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SPEAKING OF THE WINTER OLYMPICS, HERE ARE THE TOP 5 TECH ITEMS YOU'LL SEE

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea are showcasing the finest athletes around the world yet again. And as usual, it is also the time to keep an eye out for the newest in broadcast and sports equipment and consumer technology that will be on full display at the games.

Click here for the top 5 tech innovations you will see during this year's Winter Olympics.

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