With the Commonwealth Games right around the corner, people are beginning to get caught up in the ‘Games fever’.
However, like other major sporting events, the Commonwealth Games can be a prime target for cybercriminals.
Watch out for fake messages
Scam emails and text messages are common ways cybercriminals trick people, during the games, they are likely to be sent out far and wide in the hopes of catching people out.
Be wary of any message you may receive that claims to be from the official Commonwealth Games or other big-name sponsors. Scam messages from legitimate-looking organisations might offer free or heavily discounted tickets to the games, travel packages, or even merchandise. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Only download official apps
Online apps can be handy at events for the latest news and information, such as live results, photo galleries, athlete biographies and live streams. Fake apps made by cybercriminals are often designed to look and function near-identically to the real thing, and can steal personal information.
To protect yourself you should:
- Only download apps through official app stores, such as the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android phones and tablets
- Avoid installing apps from links in emails, social media, text messages and websites that look suspicious
- Check reviews an download counts, then think twice about downloading an app with poor reviews or one that is new to the store
- Visit the official Commonwealth Games website to find out further information about the official app
Staying safe using public wi-fi
Public Wi-Fi ‘hotspots’ can be very convenient, but also come with some risks. It’s easy for data traffic between Wi-Fi enabled devices and public Wi-Fi access points to be intercepted, so it is important to be careful about what information you send or receive while connected.
Wherever possible, avoid using hotspots that are run by people or organisations you don’t know or trust. Criminals have been known to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in order to steal users’ banking credentials, account passwords, and other valuable information.
- When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, identify that it is a ‘public’ network type if prompted. This will make the connection more secure.
- On a laptop, make sure you’re not sharing folders or devices with others on the network. This should be managed automatically for you by your device’s operating system when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network.
- Install a reputable virtual private network (VPN) solution on your device. When enabled this creates an encrypted ‘tunnel’ that allows data traffic to pass securely over public Wi-Fi networks.
If you can’t connect securely, avoid:
- online banking or shopping
- sending confidential emails
- entering passwords or credit card details unless you’re using a secure website (identifiable by using ‘https://’ at the start of the address and a locked padlock or key in the browser address bar).
Remember – no public Wi-Fi is 100% secure, consider using your own mobile data for any sensitive transactions.