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With the NFL and College football seasons quickly approaching, sports fans as well as cyber criminals are getting ready for a busy season.  This time of year, as fans, we tend to flock to various sports pages for updates on our teams and players.   Cunning cyber criminal also tend to take advantage of this through increase efforts of malware, phishing campaigns, and online scams targeting you as a fan.   For example, during the 2012 London Olympics a fraud website advertising itself on Facebook claimed to sell Olympic event tickets as event tickets are very popular. When this website was found to be fraudulent and analyzed, it turned out to be a phishing website that was created to collect personal information from unsuspecting victims.  To help prevent this from happening to you during this football season, there are two simple rules you can follow: Be vigilant and have a good defense system.

First, be vigilant by paying attention to the web pages, forums, and links providing you the information on your teams and players.  If you don’t know the source or are leery of the site you are visiting, retreat and visit only the sites provided by a trusted source such as ESPN or Fox Sports.  By sticking to this rule, you are much less likely to end up on the receiving end of a malicious site.  Also be vigilant about the emails you receive.  If you receive an email for free tickets or even free team gear and have never signed up for any contest, I’ll bet the sender has other things in mind for you.

The last rule to follow is to have a good defense.  One way of defending yourself is to have a reputable anti-virus program installed and updated for you protection against the threats that are circulating.  This isn’t foolproof, but hopefully it will provide you with another layer of protective security.

I wish you and your teams well this football season.  Play it safe both in and out of the cyber world and until next time… go Hawks!

-Rod