Cyber Security

During this season where everything is online, please be extra cautious in your digital habits. The Bad Guys are taking advantage of our developing “virtual” practices and our isolation in order to exploit them. Please note the following and be vigilant!

Added 05/29/2020

  • Yesterday, several church members received an email that was a phishing attempt. Phishing relies on your familiarity with someone to get you to respond or react to the email.  You can get an email that looks legitimate, but is not.  Whether it is a correct email address for someone you know, one that is slightly off (e.g. instead of,  or one that is nowhere near correct, be vigilant.  Hackers can spoof an email to look right but when you reply, the address is often different. Keep in mind the character of the person. You know this person. Is this something they would request of you?  DO NOT reply to that email. Be wary and wait. In our world of instant gratification, I know it is hard not to respond as soon as possible. Just wait. No answer is an answer! If you know the individual, give them a call and double check!   Also, report it to IT, I can review it or others at the Church can review it. We will perform due diligence to verify if it is an authentic request.

Added 04/30/2020

  • Dishonest security software affiliates (think franchisees) are sending emails that falsely indicate that your antivirus software is expiring, so that you will renew their license so that the affiliate can earn a commission from the sale.

Added 04/27/2020

  • A current email going out to many people includes a password that you might have used in the past. The individuals probably have that password because a service or online application you used was compromised in the past and user’s data was hacked. As a consequence, passwords and usernames were accessible on the dark web. What can you do? If you see a password in the email, go to the application where you used that password. (For example, LinkedIn or Dropbox. and change the password. Another big security problem was Dropbox. They have had to make some changes to secure everyone’s data.
  • Release of malicious COVID-19-themed mobile apps by Cyber Actors pose a growing risk to US users of third-Party App Stores. These apps have been known to contain embedded spyware, ransomware, and geo-location technology. Please be cautious as you download apps.
  • Phishing emails that claim to you know your password “and what you have been doing,” usually referring to the viewing of pornography.
  • Individuals are receiving emails implying their account has been compromised. These spoofed communications are intended to get you to act. Please contact Support for your email provider directly (i.e. not through the email in question) and verify if they have sent it.
  • In addition, individuals are receiving emails asking them to set up a secondary recovery email account. People may spoof the email provider logo and ask you to create a secondary recovery email. Once they get your information, they can access your email. If you have received such an email, and acted on it, you should change your email password immediately. Contact if you have any questions.
  • The initial surge in the usage of Zoom® has highlighted many security flaws present in the application. However, Zoom® is aggressively working to address many of these concerns. Please make sure that you are using the most up to date version of Zoom® apps/ software and you are using the most current best practices (they seem to change daily….).
  • The “FAX back scam,” Fax Back Scammers send out faxes with offers designed to get you to send a return fax to a 1-900 premium rate number that incurs a high per minute charge. The Bad Guy will require a large return fax and a slow responding fax machine to maximize their theft.
  • Make sure that the people who are reaching out to you by social media/text/email are who they say they are, especially if the communication is from someone you know and seems oddly worded or contains questionable facts OR if it is from someone who you have not heard from in a long time.
  • Watch your bank/credit card accounts, especially if you are doing more online ordering than normal.