Hackers Targeting Your Holiday Purchases

Hackers targeting your holiday purchases

An email from a well-known retailer arrives in your inbox confirming a recent purchase. It looks authentic and includes the company’s logo as well as what looks like a genuine link to its website. You don’t recall the specific purchase mentioned in the email, but decide to click on the link to see what it’s about.

That click just opened your computer to the whims of a nefarious cyber intruder.

Just in time for the holidays, hackers are simulating purchase emails from well-known retailers to email accounts across the country. Their hope is that an unsuspecting individual will click on the link and give the hacker access to that person’s computer.

Beyond the search for personal data, access to a person’s computer allows a scammer to use it as their own personal robot, free to send spam and other electronic instructions to others in the hopes of furthering their wicked intent.

Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of these despicable individuals.

If you receive an email such as the one described above, do not click on an embedded link. Links can be modified to look like an authentic website, but direct a curious clicker to an entirely different site.

To verify the authenticity of the email, open up a separate browser window and manually type in the company website. You can peruse account details from there.

Stay safe this holiday season by remaining vigilant against cyber humbugs.

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Letter Privacy Stronger Than E-mail

Letter privacy

Letters provide a close, personal way to communicate with people around they world. Sealed up inside every envelope is an opportunity to receive correspondence in an intimate, tactile way. Nobody, other than the recipient, can touch it without permission or they’ll face pursuit by the Inspection Service. The same benefits don’t apply to e-mail.

A hacker can’t snatch letter mail anonymously out of the digital air, but if they successfully crack the password of an e-mail account, they can have access to everything in it. That includes all sent and received e-mails still stored in the account as well as contact information for everyone in an address book.

Criminals who attempt to steal letter mail will be tracked down by the Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, and brought to justice. The Inspection Service is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States, and has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations.

An e-mail might have a speed advantage over a letter, but that convenience comes with the price of persistent vigilance.

What are some other advantages of writing a letter over an e-mail?

What’s Your Password?

WA26

Keeping passwords safe is sometimes trickier than some would like it to be. As undesirable as changing a password is every so often, it’s a necessity many organizations require of their employees, and with good reason. That includes computers used by postal employees.

Changing passwords periodically isn’t just about keeping sensitive information out of the hands of those who would abuse it. It’s also about preventing access to systems that others may want to sabotage. Security protocols are only as good as the weakest link in a chain. If one of these links is accessed by an outside influence that wants to cause harm, then the entire system is compromised.

Choosing a password that might be cumbersome and clunky is an advantage in preventing others from easily guessing it. A password such as “Klava42Aero8” might be more difficult to remember than “Password1234,” but it will also be far more difficult to crack as well.

In addition to choosing a more complex password, pick one that isn’t readily available on a Facebook page. Someone can boast about their dog Sparky to friends and family online, but leave the pooch out of a password. A determined hacker will find this information and generate permutations of it to figure out passwords. The same is true for the names of children, a desirable car, or a favorite sports team.

When it comes to password security, always err on the side of caution. Keep passwords awkward and never share them with others. Change them often for good measure. The security of the Postal Service network is in your hands.

What other examples of bad passwords have you come across?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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