March Madness is here! And when the basketball madness starts, so do phishing attacks. Increased web traffic and public interest around March Madness is the perfect chance for hackers and cyber criminals to impersonate popular bracket websites and online betting organizations. The number of phishing attacks also increases. So, it is in your best interest to be an educated and cyber aware fan.
In 2018, it was reported that traffic activity from users streaming games online and checking bracket updates increased by 28% compared to 2017. According to several monitoring sites, there was also an increase in overall malicious activity related to the tournament and a clear upward spike in phishing pages, adware downloads, and improper handling of user data.
It seems likely that these cyber-attacks will continue during this year’s tournament. Because of its popularity, there’s a good chance that they could occur on your business network. Especially if you have any employees or coworkers that are avid sports fans.
We know how difficult it can be to avoid the temptation of checking your bracket at work. Or watching game highlights in between meetings!
However, if you are educated and aware of what to keep an eye out for, you can overcome the sneakiest of hacking attempts. Be a cyber aware fan with these safety tips.
March Madness Cyber Security Tips
- Unless you personally signed up for a contest, survey, or poll via email, avoid the invitation to participate. Try to only engage with content from reputable websites.
- If you are involved in a tournament bracket, enter the site URL into your browser directly. Hackers can disguise viruses as harmless looking links.
- Don’t click on any links in emails if they seem too good to be true. Also, watch out for spelling or grammar mistakes.
- If you plan to live stream any games, please do so from a reputable site. Clicking on a random link you saw on Facebook can spell trouble.