Cyberthreats do not take a summer break. With understaffedoffices and more unsuspecting victims working from remotelocations, the risk of data breach incidents, ransomware attacksand virus infiltration is likely to increase.

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Cybercrime is a business, Usman Choudhary, chief product officerat the Reston, Va.-based ThreatTrack Security, said.

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“They are data thieves, specializing in certain specificskills,” he said. “They have an operational team. They developspear phishing campaigns. They also sell the data on the blackmarket on the Dark Net.”

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The VIPRE antivirus team at ThreatTrack provided five keythreats to look out for this summer.

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Join us at the new Credit UnionTimes Fraud:Don't Let It Happen To Your Credit UnionConference, whereyou will find the latest tools and techniques for preventing fraudand data breaches; strategies for responding in the immediateaftermath and best practices for restoring reputation, financialstability and information security . 

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This two-day conference is designed for credit unionexecutives, board of directors and those responsible for yourcredit unions cyber security policy.   Registerto attend and save $150.

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cybersecurity summer threats1. Political postsabout the 2016 elections and party conventions

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Voters who search insatiably for news and information about thecandidates are at risk.

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“There are a lot of people soliciting and canvassing,” Choudharywarned.

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That gives cybercriminals something to capitalize on. They oftenuse spam, malvertising and spoofed websites to plant viruses andmalware. Be wary and check URLs before clicking on any links.

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cybersecurity summer threats2. Phishing emailsfocused on travel and vacations

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Be extra vigilant about emails and links while on the road orwhen planning a trip. According to the American Hotel & LodgingAssociation, fraudsters made $1.3 billion last year through onlinehotel scams. Watch out for emails promising some kind of superdiscount and double check that website. If the deal seems too goodto be true, it probably is.

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cybersecurity summer threats3. Scams relatedto the Zika virus and other health concerns

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The Zika virus is only going to get more attention as theOlympics, scheduled for Aug. 5 to 21 in Brazil – the epicenter ofZika fears – gets closer. The Securities and Exchange Commission,for instance, recently issued an alert warning about Zikainvestment scams. In February, Symantec discovered an emailpurporting to be from a health and wellness website in Brazil. Oneof the links within the email contained a form of JS.Downloadermalware.

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cybersecurity threats4. Major sporting andentertainment event schemes

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The Summer Olympics, the baseball All-Star game, the opening ofNFL training camps and summer blockbuster movies could be used as afront for malicious campaigns. Watch for unsolicited emails andpop-up websites offering discounted tickets or other products andservices. The number of events that occur over the summer providethe perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to target online users.Be cautious before clicking on a link, banner ad or attachment.

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summer cybersecurity threats5. Attackstargeting kids on summer vacation

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Children who are home from school, sometimes unsupervised, tendto spend a lot of time on their electronic devices during thesummer months. Unless parents take precautions, children might findapplications and other types of files to download that may not besafe or appropriate. Installing a good parental control programhelps minimize the vulnerability of all other devices used on thehome network, a potential gateway for a home or businessattack.

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Join us at the new Credit UnionTimes Fraud:Don't Let It Happen To Your Credit UnionConference, whereyou will find the latest tools and techniques for preventing fraudand data breaches; strategies for responding in the immediateaftermath and best practices for restoring reputation, financialstability and information security .  This two-dayconference is designed for credit union executives, board ofdirectors and those responsible for your credit unions cybersecurity policy.  Registerto attend and save $150.

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).