Three Things March Madness Means for Cybersecurity

It’s March and that can only mean one thing– March Madness. Now that your brackets are prepared (and potentially already busted) it’s time to prepare your computer. For cyber criminals, it’s a totally different kind of madness as they prepare for a game of their own. Keep your eye on the ball and make sure your computer is clean and safe with our tips below.

What Cinderella candidates do you have your hopes on?

Fake Apps and Sites

Sites might promise exclusive info for your bracket but they’re really just focused on infecting your computer. Illegitimate sources expose your device to a bombardment of malicious pop up ads or typo-squatting websites.

Before you bookmark a site to fill out your bracket make sure to Google the name of the company and the word ‘scam’ to see what others are saying.

Ensure all the sites you visit have https:// or a secure socket layer (SSL). Check this by looking for the lock on the address bar.

Search Engine Optimization Poisoning

Some search engines bring up phony sites because cyber criminals have created malicious websites and then used search engine optimization tactics to make them show up at the top. This happens especially when you’re trying to stream a late night game.

If you’re out of the country but need to see who’s dunking on who you can do so with NordVPN. It’s a virtual private network (VPN) that masks where you are by redirecting your internet traffic. Give yourself home court advantage by choosing to be in the US to stream your game.

Phishing Emails

Criminals specifically prepare emails for this time of year because they know people partake in office pools. They’ll include malicious links or other harmful viruses in attachments that can wreak havoc on your device. If it seems suspicious – don’t click it!

Don’t blindly throw an alley-oop and hope someone is there to dunk it, or in the world of cybersecurity, hope that something will be there to protect you. Be sure to have your antivirus up-to-date so it can alert you of suspicious sites before you land on them. We offer a discount on McAfee simply because you’re a FixMeStick customer, click here.

In cybersecurity what plays can you run to make sure you’re hitting 3 pointers?

Be alert, just like when dribbling the ball you need to be aware of what’s coming at you:

  • Try NordVPN to encrypt your communication and stream these games from wherever you are
  • Watch out for suspicious sites, popups, and grammar mistakes that flag when you’re in the wrong place
  • Make sure your computer is protected with an antivirus. At FixMeStick we trust McAfee to protect us in real-time on all our devices
  • Reset your passwords often and make them unique. Use 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of protection

March Madness is always fun, but don’t let your desire for a perfect bracket compromise your common sense. Make sure you’re being cybersecure both on and off the court.

Comment below with who you’re rooting for and what cybersecurity steps you’re taking this March to avoid the madness.