We’ve all heard the saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” many times throughout our lives. I’m sure when pertaining to someone who broke your heart this couldn’t be more than true. I mean, I don’t really find it useful knowing who my ex is cuddled up next to on a cold winter’s night. You know what I mean?
But I’ve seen this myth busted more times than I care to count and I myself have been a victim of cyber theft. So when I had the pleasure of meeting Former FBI agent Scott Augenbaum, author of The Secret To Cybersecurity and cybersecurity expert, I had to share some of the “Golden Nuggets” he advised me on during our recent interview and podcast on Goldy’s Closet Episode 87. Watch the video version on The RELM Network or listen to the audio episode free on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and iHeartRadio! See the short promo here also! https://bit.ly/3k4UqcL
Scott has appeared on Headline News, Fox News, Fox Business, ABC, NBC, and CBS and maintains the most wonderful and humble disposition. He dedicates his life to keeping people safe and speaking all around the world to even teenagers about how to protect yourself for little to no money. This is his passion and I completely sucked up every tidbit of information he shared.
Scott has ascertained that out of almost 1000 victims he has dealt with in his career, almost all have commonalities and from those, he created what he calls, “Four Truths to CyberSecurity” which we explore in this article.
1) Nobody ever expected to be a victim of Cybercrime.
I sure didn’t. I know if you are reading this and have had this happen, you didn’t either. Scott reminds us the holiday online shopping season is near and offers some very valuable advice.
We’ve all heard of Cyber Monday, Black Friday but have you ever heard of “Bad Guy Tuesday?”While the criminals take Thanksgiving off to chill, you can bet they are conspiring the best email blast for the following Tuesday. Scott walks us through a very plausible scenario.
You get an email saying, “your Amazon order is delayed and your credit card didn’t go through.” DON’T CLICK ON THAT! We all know so many people will. It will take you to a fake site, then to some fake account that looks legitimate, asking you to enter your user name and password. BOOM. They are in and steal your life.
Scott Augenbaum reminds us to “Think before you click.” 90% of these harmful emails will be from someone you know and trust. EVEN if you think you have a GREAT spam filter.
Emails may read something like: “For being such a good client of mine, click on this coupon for a FREE gift.” You won’t be getting an email from cybercrook.org, you’ll get one from someone you trust.
He also enlightens us that these mails are going to come when you’re at your worst. For example, kids are going back to school, you’re stressed, you receive an email from the school board saying, “Very important information, school has been closed for an extra week.” Be CAREFUL and PROCESS this. “Here is a VERY important Google document. Enter your user name and password to retrieve school instructions.” THAT is the RED FLAG. Whenever you click on something that asks for your user name and password, more than likely it is a scam. So pick up the phone and CALL the source. Better safe than sorry. THINK before you click.
2) Once the CyberCriminals steal your stuff, the chances of you getting it back are slim.This is because once they get into your bank account and take your money, it disappears through a network all over the world. Once the dark web has your numbers on it you can’t just get them off. Recovering your stolen data is impossible. When it’s gone it’s gone.
3) Since most CyberCriminals are located overseas the chances of bringing them to justice are low.
While this applies to all cyber theft, it strikes a chord with me because of what I’ve personally seen as well as Mr. Augenbaum in the online dating world. There are many crooks posing to be someone they’re not stealing more than just your heart. You fell in love, you got ripped off and it’s not something you’re going to run and tell your buddies. Scott reminds us that “everyone has a digital imprint. GOOGLE them. Do some investigating before you do something you will regret.”
I’ll share some online dating advice I’ve come up with myself from my years of being on different dating sites. After THREE message exchanges, I write the name of the person I’m corresponding with on a piece of paper, and take a photo saying, “Hello _____, it’s Me, Goldy!” I include the date and I send it to them reassuring them I am indeed a real person. I ask for them to return the favor with a little joke like, “I showed you mine now show me yours!” It’s light but speaks volumes. 95% of the time the man has obliged. When he didn’t, I never heard from him again. The jig was up. It’s that easy Golden Peeps.
4) A majority of Cybercrime victimization could be prevented if the victims were just armed with some key pieces of information.
Scott introduced me to two-factor authentication. It’s a second form of authentication and an extra step of protection. This prevents someone from impersonating you, getting into your bank account, social media, and destroying your life. Many companies have implemented this. Look for it!
Microsoft said, 99.9 percent of their victims didn’t have two-factor authentication. He suggests using Gmail, Outlook, or iCloud, for a banking and finance email. These companies are all very protected implementing this two-factor authentication. He doesn’t recommend Yahoo or ALO for banking because of a major breach.
Scott tells me many horror stories about cybercrime. So many juicy stories and ways to prevent loss are in his book The Secret To Cybersecurity. I found so much value in what I learned reading it that I added it to “Books I Love” on my Amazon site here. (https://amzn.to/3l5Hl4m) What an incredible gift for anyone basically breathing. Please support. This man is out there doing some great work inspiring and educating so many.
Another really useful take home from our talk was the difference between debit and credit cards. Scott explains why using your credit card and paying off right away is the best idea especially when you’re shopping online. If you become compromised, with a credit card, there is a hold on your card until they figure it out.
If you used a debit card, there is now money missing from your bank account until possibly it’s tracked down. The bank maybe can get you BACK that money, but it may take weeks to get fixed. All of the bounced checks or transaction fees that occurred because of this mess you are financially responsible for. Banks love this because they make their money off those charges. So be smart. USE YOUR CREDIT CARD. Even if your debit card offers the choice between using as a debit or credit card, Scott explains, “it doesn’t matter.” That has nothing to do with how you make a purchase it has to do with the fee structures for the bank. CREDIT is not linked to your bank account.
A great book, a great guy, and invaluable lessons learned in Goldy’s Corner! Check out The Secret To Cybersecurity today and get WOKE! You don’t have to be the next cybercrime victim.
To contact Scott for speaking engagements or education for you or your company please www.scotteaugenbaum.com or find him on LinkedIn.
Stay safe Golden Peeps and always, #StayGolden.