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Blake Dowling: Don't get buried within the vacation 'wave' – Florida Politics

Each few years, on this planet of elections, we’re looking out for some form of wave.

A blue wave when President Joe Biden took workplace, or a purple one — as we noticed in Florida lately — when Gov. Ron DeSantis defeated his challenger.

No matter election “waves” there’s just one wave I’ve my eye on yearly.

It’s not a Level Break Half Three intro to the 50-year storm in Bells Seaside, Australia.

No sir, the wave I’m referring to is the subsequent massive wave of cyber incidents just like the one we noticed in 2016.

That was an enormous one with the Russian Web Analysis Company meddling in our elections, together with different shenanigans. Fortunately, all we noticed was a ripple, not a wave, with a few elections websites being down in Mississippi and a few different small objects.

So far as we all know, there was not a serious difficulty that was reported, thwarted or seen within the 2022 Elections. Subsequent, we’ve the vacations; surfs up, and time to get again in wave-readiness mode because the hackers are already in gear and able to try to relieve you of the burden of your private information and forex.

I used to be speaking to ABC 7 in Sarasota on Sunday and one of many first issues I warned Cyber Monday customers about — and this is applicable to all vacation buying — is to beware of following the link trail. Have you ever ever seen an advert pop up on a social platform and it takes you to a different web site, after which one other and one other and at last they ask for bank card information?

I name this the “hyperlink path” — and don’t comply with it.

When you see an advert for one thing it’s essential to have, cease, go to Google, discover that firm’s web site immediately, and go there.

It’s even higher to show in your advert blockers in your search engines like google and yahoo, normally discovered underneath settings, safety and privateness.

Doing these two issues would possibly simply assist you may have a “Merry Vacation Prep” expertise.

Another objects to look out for are “missed supply” texts and emails. Hackers assume you might be ordering packages from Amazon, so please beware of pretend notifications showing to be from them. If you want to monitor packages, go to the web sites immediately and use the monitoring numbers you acquired upon cost or cargo notification.

Even be cautious of fly-by-night GoFundMe pages. Hackers use that platform — and so do some folks operating for workplace. However that’s for an additional day.

If giving to totally different charities is your factor for vacation generosity, strive a charity verification web site like Charity Navigator earlier than getting into your bank card info.

As a check, I looked for a charity close to and pricey to me, Tree Home Youngsters house in Tallahassee, and it got here up 100% verified.

Hackers additionally publish fraudulent seasonal jobs to try to get your private information and/or ask you to pay in your uniform and provides earlier than getting began, When you try this, you’ve simply been conned.

Once more, name and confirm earlier than giving anybody your bank card quantity, and never the quantity the hackers present. Do your individual unbiased search.

I had a consumer name the opposite day after receiving a suspicious electronic mail; he mentioned that he referred to as the quantity within the signature and the particular person mentioned it was actual. I replied that was … since you have been speaking to the hacker.

Silence adopted.

‘Tis the season, associates, all of us have to be cautious. If it seems to be too good to be true, it’s. Beware romance schemes, too.

When you hear a single relative discussing assembly a pleasant man or girl in Peru who simply wants cash for a aircraft ticket, bus ticket, operation, tuition, and so on., please do them a favor and cease them from gifting away their cash.

Hackers are after us all and, sadly, they’ll get a few of us so ensure you usually are not a sufferer.

When you see one thing say one thing. Merry Christmas, glad holidays, surfs up — click on right here to claim your free gift card … LOL.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Enterprise Applied sciences and his e book Professionally Distanced is on sale for the holidays.

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