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Beware of these top cyber threats

Cybercrimes are commonplace around the holiday season.

(NC) Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for people from whom they can steal information, money or identities. Here are the top cyber threats you need to be aware of to keep yourself safe.

Scam messages

These are fake messages that try to trick you into giving up your time, money or information. Also known as phishing messages, they are typically sent as fake emails or texts designed to look authentic. Their goal is to trick you into giving them information by asking you to update, validate or confirm your account.

Some red flags to look for include spelling or grammar mistakes, as well as an unprofessional design or poor formatting. The messages may also seem official by referencing fake government departments, or they may be intimidating and threaten you with legal action.

It is a best practice to verify whether the sender’s email address is legitimate. When in doubt, contact the organization the sender is claiming to represent through an official channel before giving away personal information.


Downloading from the internet and sharing files are common, everyday practices that bring risks to you and your devices. If you aren’t careful or responsible, you risk downloading viruses, malware and spyware disguised as a popular movie or song to your computer or phone. To protect yourself, only download files from legitimate, trusted websites, app stores, or better yet, directly from the source of the files.


Hackers will try to gain unauthorized access to your devices by finding weaknesses or faults in your security settings and exploit them to access your information. Protect yourself from these malicious attacks with a passphrase or complex password and multi-factor authentication. For example, use facial recognition in combination with a pass code for your phone. You should also enable automatic updates for your software and operating system whenever possible.

Find more information and resources to help you protect against cyber threats at

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