Archive for Lookout

Guest Post: Lookout Says Don’t Let Scammers Dunk On Your March Madness Bracket

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 31, 2022 by itnerd

March Madness is in full swing! For many college basketball fans, a large part of the fun comes in creating a bracket, competing against other fans for bragging rights and of course, winning a little money. Unfortunately, scammers take all the fun out of the tournament by creating false betting websites and pocketing your hard earned cash. 

Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, wants fans to stay safe from potential scams and has listed a few tips that make an impact. 

Lookout suggest all be wary when placing bets by doing the following:

Place a bet through a well established and approved services
Do research and ensure the website selected for betting is verified before adding financial information. Confirm with the local gaming commission or the ESPN website about a service that you are unfamiliar with. 

Don’t fall for ads
A fan may receive spam text messages and emails claiming to be a legitimate betting service. Don’t fall for the false advertising.

Avoid providing additional personal information when prompted
If a website asks for additional personal information when placing a bet or cashing out do not provide it. Most betting sites will not need your social security number. 

Pay attention to the fine print
Read the fine print when finding a service. Any language that presents urgency, limited spots, risk-free betting, or a 100% guarantee is a red flag. 

Lookout helps protect your digital information at every level – from the device you hold, to the apps and online services you use and the networks you connect to. Lookout also continuously monitors the internet to ensure what matters to you the most – such as social security and credit card numbers – aren’t exposed. And if anything happens, Lookout’s team of experts and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy are here to back you up.

Guest Post: Go Phish! Scammers Target Taxpayers For Identity Theft

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 23, 2022 by itnerd

By Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

Tax season is officially here and, similar to last year, there are so many unique situations to consider while filing. Receiving unemployment, the stimulus check, any donations you’ve made, and contract work should all be taken into consideration. Serving as your own accountant can be extremely taxing – especially for those who have never done so before. 

While making sure you have all the right forms is difficult enough, consumers now have to be wary of an array of phishing scams. In fact, Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, has discovered that on average, 50% of people will encounter a phishing link in a 3 month period – including scams associated with tax season . Luckily, Lookout has identified key scams consumers should be on guard against this year. 

Text Message Scams
Many of us receive text messages from scammers impersonating a variety of companies including the IRS. While this may seem legit, the IRS does not use text messages for personal tax issues nor do they send taxpayers messages on social media especially in regards to bills or refunds. 

Unemployment Fraud 
Be wary of unemployment or other benefit payments that were never applied for. There has been an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen identities to fraudulently collect benefits. If something inaccurate or fraudulent is received, immediately request a corrected form or report to state agencies.

Email Phishing Scams 
In the 2022 tax season, taxpayers may receive unsolicited emails that appear to be from the IRS or affiliated organizations. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Contact by the IRS is typically in the form of regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. 

Phone Scams 
No matter how real they sound, the IRS does not leave pre-recorded, threatening or urgent messages. The messages may include threats of arrest, deportation, law enforcement intervention and more. Criminals can make caller ID numbers appear to be anywhere in the country including from an IRS office. 

Lookout helps protect your digital information at every level – from the device you hold, to the apps and online services you use and the networks you connect to. Lookout also continuously monitors the internet to ensure what matters to you the most – such as social security and credit card numbers – aren’t exposed. And if anything happens, Lookout’s team of experts and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy are here to back you up.

Guest Post: Scammers Create Fake Donation Sites To Take Advantage Of Consumers During Crisis

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 18, 2022 by itnerd

By Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

During times of turmoil the best of humanity comes out as people show their support through donations. In fact, 56% of Americans donated to charity in 2021. Oftentimes, the easiest way to donate is online through organizations. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of others’ kindness and create fake websites claiming to be accepting donations. 

It is often difficult for people to distinguish between a legitimate site and a fake one. Security experts from Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, identified the below scams regarding donations for the crisis in the Ukraine.  

Scam 1: The below is a phishing example where scammers have created a fake copy of the official Ukrainian Government website. The scammer added a “Donate Fund” button with Bitcoin, Ethereum and U.S. Dollar payment options. 

Scam 2: The below is a fake website that was created for “Ukraine Appeal” that targets people to try and trick them into believing it is a legitimate donation site.

Lookout helps protect your digital information at every level – from the device you hold, to the apps and online services you use and the networks you connect to. Lookout also continuously monitors the internet to ensure what matters to you the most – such as social security and credit card numbers – aren’t exposed. And if anything happens, Lookout’s team of experts and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy are here to back you up.

Guest Post: Consumer Protection Week Dedicated To Guarding Americans Against Scammers

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 10, 2022 by itnerd

This week is Consumer Protection Week. Annually observed during the first week of March, the Week was created with the intention of educating consumers of their rights and how to protect themselves from scams in the digital age. In 2020 alone, Americans lost a record-breaking 4.2 billion dollars in online scams. Despite consumers growing increasingly familiar with these scams, millions still give in to bad actors and put their information at risk.

If you are covering Consumer Protection Week, a Lookout expert is happy to comment on how to recognize consumer scams and share tips on how to protect themselves from hackers. Lookout is a cybersecurity company delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions. 

Lookout Suggests These Basic Tips For Common Scams:

Text Scam
If you receive a phishy text message that creates a highly urgent situation, find a way to validate the communication before tapping any links or downloading any apps.

WiFi Connections
Exercise caution when using public WiFi as there may be others snooping on network traffic. In particular, avoid making purchases and banking transactions—any communication that conveys a password, account number or credit card number—unless you are certain that you are on a secure connection.

Password Hacks
Use multi-factor authentication when signing into any account that offers it. This makes it harder for bad actors to get in, even if they compromise your username and password.

Verify The Source
If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. You can contact the company using information provided on an account statement or by visiting their website directly online, not information provided in an email. 

Install security software on your devices
Security protection, like Lookout, will automatically monitor and identify scam URLs in email, text messages, and on the web and block you from threats that can do harm.

Guest Post: Top Children’s Game Leaves Kids Vulnerable To Phishing Attacks

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 28, 2022 by itnerd

By: Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

During the holiday’s smartphones and tablets are a top present for children. While the devices are a welcome addition to a child’s life, a lack of supervision can make them vulnerable to risks. 

One new game growing increasingly popular is Roblox whose main audience is children between the ages of nine and 12. While the game is designed to enable users to create and play games together, it’s popularity has also attracted scammers looking to trick players out of their money or the content they created, via phishing attacks. 

Over three in five children have access to the internet, and they spend over 45 hours per week online on games like Roblox, making it difficult for parents to monitor them.  Since it is difficult to constantly observe kids while they play online, it is important to educate them on how to stay safe. Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, has shared tips on how to keep your children safe.

Tips For Online Child Safety: 

Educate your children about online privacy and safety best practices 

  • Talk to your children about the risks of revealing personal information, such as address, phone number, school name, location and photos online and encourage them to never share passwords to any of their accounts.
  • Let your children know to notify you with reports of any concerning content or interactions online. Most platforms have ways to block or report inappropriate content or behavior.

Consider implementing parental controls

  • You can set Parental Controls to help manage what sites and information your children have access to on the Internet. Many operating systems have child-safety tools built into major operating systems such as Apple and Google
  • You can also set up permissions and controls via your internet provider, to help you control the type of content that is delivered via your home WiFi network. 

Protect your children’s online experience & device with security protection 

  • Across social media, text messages, emails, and apps – phishing scams are on the rise. On average, 50% of people will encounter an unsafe link on their device in a three month period. 
  • It’s important to educate your children about online scams & run security protection – like Lookout Security – that will scan every link your child clicks online to ensure it is safe, and block risky websites or scams before they can do harm. 

Guest Post: Tips For Navigating The Slack Outage Without Sacrificing Safety

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 23, 2022 by itnerd

By Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

Yesterday the popular messaging & collaboration platform Slack experienced an outage this week. Businesses everywhere found out how reliant they are on technology – specifically communication tools – as many struggled to stay in touch within their colleagues.

Slack isn’t the first major company to come into the limelight when services are unavailable. In recent months, Microsoft, FedEx, and Amazon all experienced periods of downtime that lead people to look for alternative ways to conduct business.

Although this may be the time to find work arounds, it is not the time to forgo internet safety and share private information through unfamiliar methods. Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, has shared tips on how to keep your guard up during difficult times: 

Validate the identity of people who reach out to you

During a communications outage make sure to verify who you are talking to. If you ever receive communication claiming to be an individual you know but you can’t be 100% sure, contact them directly to validate that it’s really them.

  • For example, during a phishing attack, bad actors may pose as bosses within a company, to trick employees into giving away important information. If you receive a message from someone where you can’t confidently validate their identity, call that person and speak with them directly before proceeding.
  • If you are ever contacted by someone asking you to download an app or click a link, exercise caution. If this does happen, it’s important to ensure you’re protected by having a mobile security app – like Lookout Security – on your device that will block connections to phishing sites and alert you if you download a malicious app.

Use only communication channels you can reliably trust.

If a popular communication channel you use isn’t available – don’t resort to sending important information over less secure platforms. For instance, if you need to send documents or sensitive data to colleagues, only use your company’s approved email platform, and avoid sending information over your personal email or via text messages.

Lookout is a cybersecurity company offering a range of security solutions for both Consumer & Businesses customers. Our mission is to secure and empower our digital future in a privacy-focused world where sharing sensitive information is essential for work and play. We enable consumers and employees to protect their data, and to securely stay connected without violating their privacy and trust. Lookout is trusted by millions of consumers, the largest enterprises and government agencies, and partners such as AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Headquartered in San Francisco, Lookout has offices in Amsterdam, Boston, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit www.lookout.com and follow Lookout on its blog, LinkedIn, and Twitter. https://www.lookout.com

Guest Post: Americans Are More Concerned About Their Social Media Accounts Getting Hacked Than Their House Being Broken Into

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 14, 2022 by itnerd

In today’s constantly evolving age of technology, consumers are very aware that scams exist but often have trouble understanding how to protect themselves from these online threats. Unlike in our homes where we can physically lock all entryways to protect ourselves, in the cyber world, it’s harder to comprehend if you’re secure. Consequently, survey data provided by Lookout reveals that hacking-related threats are consumers’ ultimate worry.

Here is how 1,500 participants ranked their highest concerns: 

  1. Someone Hacking My Bank Account – 30%
  2. Someone Hacking My Social Media – 15%
  3. Experiencing A Natural Disaster – 14%
  4. Getting In A Car Accident – 12%
  5. Someone Taking Out A Loan In My Name – 10%
  6. Someone Breaking Into My House – 10%
  7. Losing My Wallet – 9%

Why it may seem surprising that more consumers ranked having their bank account and social media account hacked a higher concern than having their home broken into, the reasoning behind these results is understandable, as it is more difficult to comprehend how you can reliably protect your online identity & financial information in today’s digital world. But, in the same way, we have locks, safety alarms, and video doorbells installed in our homes to make us feel safer, we need to have that same level of security for our devices and online data.

To help consumers protect their social media and banking accounts – as well as all of their online accounts – Lookout, the leader in delivering Integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, recommends consumers be on guard against risks and take steps to secure their accounts from compromise, including:

  1. Always use strong and unique passwords. If your online account password is ever leaked as part of a data breach, change your password immediately. 
  2. Enable two-factor authentication (like Google Authenticator) rather than SMS validation to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication helps protect your account even if your account credentials are compromised or your phone is targeted in a SIM swapping scam.  
  3. Enable a security service – like Lookout Security & Identity Protection-  that will monitor and alert you immediately if your personal and financial information is leaked on the dark web, and provide you with steps to protect your accounts from compromise and your identity from being stolen.  

If you’re experiencing any of these potential social media threats, or if you just want to check if your email address has been exposed for free, download the Lookout mobile app today! 

Guest Post: It’s Identity Theft Awareness Week: 5 Key Ways Identity Theft Can Happen To You

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 31, 2022 by itnerd

By Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

January 31 to February 4 is Identity Theft Awareness Week and it’s the perfect time to safeguard your important information and strengthen your security to protect against risks.

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains key pieces of someone else’s personal information, including, Social Security number, home address, date of birth or bank account data, and uses it for fraud or other illicit purposes. It is widespread, and getting more so: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fielded nearly 1.4 million complaints about identity theft in 2020, more than double the 2019 total

Identity thieves have a range of tactics to collect personal and/or financial information that enable them to commit ID Theft. Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, says that many of these tactics are executed digitally – including scrapping information that is compromised as part of a data breach of banks, schools, retailers and other companies that often collect large amounts of consumer data. 

Due to the nature of technology and the internet, your personal information is always at risk. If you’re not carefully monitoring your credit and online accounts you may not notice you’ve been victimized until the damage is already done. 

Here are 5 key ways identity thieves can get ahold your data & how to protect yourself:

  • Data Breaches: A data breach happens when someone gains access to an organization’s data without authorization. The most common types of information stolen in data breaches include email addresses, passwords, full names, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers. In 2021, data breaches reached an all-time high of 1,862, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) 2021 Annual Data Breach Report, which is more than 68% increase over 2020.
  • Phishing and Spam Attacks: Scammers can use email, text messages, social media and other forms of electronic communication to trick people into sharing sensitive information. The message often looks like it’s coming from a reputable source and asks victims to give up one or more types of information.
  • Malware Delivery: Malware is malicious software that can be designed to steal information. Fraudsters may use malware to collect your data or spy on your mobile device & computer activity without you knowing. 
  • Wi-Fi Hacking: If you use your computer or phone on a public network, for example an airport or coffee shop Wi-Fi, hackers may be able to “eavesdrop” on your connection. This means that if you type in a password or credit card number while connected to an unsecure Wi-Fi network, a bad actor may be able to gain access to that information. 
  • Password Compromise: When a company suffers a data breach, often your login credentials (your email and password for the breached service), can be exposed to thieves. If you also use the same password for other accounts, hackers can quickly try these same passwords to gain access to other accounts as well. If you use weak passwords that are easy to guess, that can also put your online accounts at a high risk of compromise.

How To Protect Yourself

  1. Learn if your personal information may be compromised, and take steps to protect your identity.  
    • You can start by using Lookout’s free email scan tool to get a report of any data breaches that may be associated with your email and online accounts. 
    • If your email has been leaked, it’s important to change your passwords to the associated online accounts immediately. 
    • For an added layer of protection, enable two-factor authentication (like Google Authenticator) to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication helps protect your account even if your account credentials are compromised.  
  2. Monitor your credit regularly. Keep an eye out for illegitimate inquiries or suspicious accounts opened in your name. 
  3. Install security software – like Lookout Security & Identity Protection – that helps keep your identity & financial information safe by protecting you from the key threats that can lead to ID Theft – including phishing scams, Wi-Fi attacks, and malware – as well as  provides ongoing ID monitoring and full remediation if a problem ever arises. 

Guest Post: Almost 70% of People Can NOT Distinguish Gmail’s Real Login Page From A Scam – Can You?

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 19, 2022 by itnerd

In the last decade, Google Workspace has become one of the most commonly used platforms for email and collaboration with over 1.8 billion users worldwide. Asserting it’s mobile-friendly dominance, 75% of those users access Google’s apps on their phones for the reliability and convenience of staying connected on the go. 

Unfortunately, Google, and many other large companies – including Fedex, Amazon, and Netflix – are often impersonated by bad actors looking to phish users and scam them into sharing personal details and account information with incredibly convincing, but fake, login pages. 

Only 33% Of People Could Distinguish A Real Website From A Fake

Many of us would like to think we recognize Google when we see it on our phones. However, a recent survey conducted by Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, has discovered phishing pages are so deceiving that only a third (33%) of consumers could reliably distinguish the real Google login website from the fake website, below:

Note, in the image above, “Option A” is FAKE, and “Option B” is REAL

Learn the tips to protect your email and safeguard yourself against ID theft: 

  • Google recommends that customers never enter their password after clicking a link in a message. If you’re signed in to an account, emails from Google won’t ask you to enter the password for that account. If you think an email that looks like it’s from Google might be fake, go directly to myaccount.google.com/notifications. On that page, you can check your Google Account’s recent security activity.
  • Attackers will always try to create high-pressure situations that cause you to not think about what’s happening. If you’re ever contacted in this way and the individual is asking you to download an app or click a link, simply don’t. 
  • Download a mobile security application on your device – like Lookout – that will block connections to phishing sites before they can do harm and alert you immediately if you download a malicious app.