This isn’t exactly a DIYMarketers topic – it has more of a consumer, user focus. But I wanted to share it with you because so many of us have such limited boundaries between being business owners and consumers. We switch minute by minute.
The 2012 Summer Olympics are only a few days away. Most of us will not be in London, but viewing the the games electronically. However just because you’re not watching the games live in front of you does not mean you should not be concerned about safety and crime — online crime, that is.
It is expected that 1 billion people worldwide will follow the London games on PCs and mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets). And with such large numbers of people online, there is an increased risk to online viewers as viruses and malware can infiltrate a mobile device as easily as it can a standard PC. Here are four tips for staying safe during the 2012 Olympics.
Be careful with unauthorized apps. Do not download any apps that are not authorized by the Olympics, NBC, BBC or ESPN. Many scammers will try to hide a trojan in an app that looks legitimate. NBC and the BBC released official apps for the Olympics that require a sign-in with an authorized cable provider. These apps may turn some people off with the login requirement. Be safe by taking a few extra minutes to go through the process.
Stick to mainstream websites for Olympic viewing. Many cyber-criminals will set up websites that look legitimate that will automatically download malware to visitors. This will wreck havoc on computers without any antivirus protection (even Macs are not safe). If you’re going to watch the Olympics online, stick with a mainstream website like NBC, CNN or Olympic.org.
Be careful with Olympic tweets! You will likely see thousands of Olympic-themed tweets each day. Do yourself a favor by not clicking on the shortened URLs, especially from tweeters you may not now. In addition, be careful when following Olympic-related Twitter accounts as many of them will be frauds.
Watch for search engine poisoning. Cyber criminals will likely be watching the hot search terms and trending topics, and will then start infiltrating the search engines with fake search results. While it’s hard to avoid what comes up in an online search, be careful about what you click on and make sure your anti-virus software is installed and working.
Remember that not all criminal Olympic-related activity will occur in London at the site of the actual games. With so many people watching online and on mobile devices, the chances of being confronted with a virus is extremely high. Do yourself – and your mobile device – a favor by sticking with websites and sources you know.