Scam, Spam, & More Fraudulent Email

Fraud and scams delivered via spam email. Just when we thought this type of fraudulent email spam might be easing and our anti-spam and anti-malware software providers have tuned their algorithms "just right", we received two more just this week!  Ugh. 

Usually, we don't even read them, but the last name of the sender caught my eye:  GADDAFI in all caps.  As in Lybia's deceased strongman - Colonel Gaddafi.  Couldn't be, but I was curious (yes curiosity can get you into all kinds of cybersecurity hell, but I took some safety precausions).  Turns out the email itself was clean, but the intent was not! Here's the first couple paragraphs of the email:


Protecting Kids from Identity Theft

Editor's Notes: Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in identity thefts.  It's very frustrating and can happen to anyone. Our children are targets as well and we as parents need to help keep them safe.

Did you know that some of the information you proudly share about your kids on social media can be a helpful tool for identity theft? Every day, criminals scour social media platforms for personal information they can use to commit fraud. Kids can be victims of identity theft well before they reach adulthood as identity thieves are looking to assume the identity of your children.

It’s important to be informed as parents, and to be ready take action to protect your children with the most powerful identity theft protection available.


Protecting Seniors Online from Scams

Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud

Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud (377)

(NewsUSA) - The vast majority of seniors today are using the Internet at least once a week to check email, pay bills online and keep in touch via social media. But all that time online puts them at risk for scams and hacks, such as tax fraud.

In fact, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, found that 67 percent of surveyed older adults have been the victim of an online scam or hack.

Encouraging seniors to practice cyber security can go a long way toward protecting their identity and sensitive financial information. Home Instead collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance to create Protect Seniors Online, available at, a free resource that educates older adults about cybersecurity. Here, seniors can test their cybersecurity skills with the "Can You Spot an Online Scam?" quiz.

Older adults can take the following steps now to protect themselves online:

*Password protect and secure devices, accounts. Lock all devices (including computers, tablets and smartphones) with secure passwords in case devices are lost or stolen.

*Think before clicking. When faced with an urgent request -- like emails asking for money -- think before clicking or get a second opinion. Clicking on links is often how scammers get personal information. When in doubt, trash an unusual message.

*Share with care. More than half (51 percent) of seniors surveyed by Home Instead use social media to stay connected. Use care when sharing personal information, adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information, and turn off location sharing.

*Use security software. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and program it to run regularly. And be wary of pop-up ads or emails, many of which contain malware that can infect computers.

*Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you are finished. Leaving apps and websites open on computer screens could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.

*Recommend support. Older adults who live alone may need help from a trusted source -- such as a family member, tech-savvy friend or professional caregiver --to serve as a second set of eyes.

To explore additional Protect Seniors Online resources, including the interactive quiz, visit

A Home Instead office near you can be found by visiting

What to do after a data breach?

A data breach is just about the scariest thing that can happen to your business's or organization's technology.  It's an assault and it can feel very personal. Depending on what you do next can actually make the situation worse or quite a bit better. Here is an article from the Federal Trade Commission with general advice on how to proceed. It can be useful in developing an internal plan of protecting your information and how best to proceed in the event of a breach.

And please call The Computing Center immediately. We can be of help even if you know how to proceed. We can be the 2nd opinion and also can use our resources to confirm the plan. 

You just learned that your business experienced a data breach. Whether hackers took personal information 

from your corporate server, an insider stole customer information, or information was inadvertently exposed on your company’s website, you are probably wondering what to do next.

What steps should you take and whom should you contact if personal information may have been exposed? Although the answers vary from case to case, the following guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can help you make smart, sound decisions.


Blackbaud Security Incident

Many not for profit organizations in our community and elsewhere have used Blackbaud software and services for many years. In May of this year, Blackbaud suffered a cyberincidence where certain of the data on their hosted systems may have been compromised.  Here is Blackbaud's statement on the incident:

To be clear, this security incident apparently occurred only to those Blackbaud clients who use their hosted services.  On premise servers and systems - where the client owns and operates Blackbaud software on local servers, were not affected.


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