The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off in London today, and besides the weather and traffic, the biggest thing on everyone minds is security. (Or at least, it should be.)
Cyber-security, in particular, is vital to keep in mind, especially as these Games are repeatedly being buzzed about as being the most social media and mobile-friendly of any major worldwide sporting event thus far. But given that most Olympic followers are probably more concerned with the sports themselves, it's better to keep the advice as simple as possible.
- Phishing: Expect to see numerous Olympic-themed phishing emails -- such as a recent scam where people were led to believe they’d won tickets to the Games and just needed to fill out a form with personal information claim their prize. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Social: This also provides a prime vehicle for hackers to try to steal your personal information. Avoid directly responding to email alerts that (appear to) come from Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites and even your bank. Instead, go directly to these sites by typing their URLs directly into your browser or using a browser bookmark. For example, when looking for info on the Olympics, start with typing the official London2012.com site directly into the address bar.
Here's one more if you're actually going to the Olympics in London over the next two weeks:
- Fraud: Olympics tickets, especially to popular events such as swimming, track and field, etc., can be some of the hottest tickets around. That means the secondary market for scalped tickets is also one of the biggest around, and it’s full of fake sites trying to scam you out of not just your money, but your financial information as well. The official London2012.com site has a "Ticket Checker" where fans can check the URL of the site on which they are considering buying tickets to determine if it’s legit, as well as a list of known fraudulent ticketing sites.
If you feel you have been a victim of fraud you can report it to The Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert website.