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Cybercriminals love the holidays and as the winter break approaches, cyber safety is often not at the forefront of many people’s minds as we become distracted with vacations, shopping for gifts and finishing the fall semester.

Unfortunately, criminals view this as an opportune time to strike. Common tactics during the season include fake shopping deals, false package delivery notices, investment schemes (i.e. Bitcoin), fake job offers and information-gathering surveys. Below are best practice tips that can be used for email, phone, text messages or social media to protect yourself, your family and Auburn University. 
 
         1.    Is the message strange or does it make an urgent or emotional request? If it sounds strange or too good to be true, it probably is.
         2.    Does the message ask for money or personal information? Never give out money or personal information unless you can verify legitimacy.
         3.    Does the message contain links or attachments? Only open links or attachments from trusted senders.
 
Remember to always stop, look and think before acting. Review examples of phishing attempts against others around campus at aub.ie/phishtank. Additional resources and tips are available from the National Cybersecurity Alliance at Safe Online Holiday Shopping Toolkit and Vacation and Travel Security Tips.