3 Spooky Cybersecurity Threats to Avoid this Halloween

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which makes this the perfect time to identify the scariest threats and best solutions to some of the most prominent cybersecurity threats this Halloween.
Halloween spooky stories

It’s that time of year again. Unfortunately, darker days and spooky lawn decorations aren’t the only thing that’s scary right now. The cybersecurity space is an eerie place as bad actors are looking to capitalize on this moment to compromise personally identifiable information, financial data, and more. 

Here are some of the most prominent threats that you should be on the lookout for this Halloween. 

#1 Deepfakes

The internet has arguably never been more deceiving. Relying on deep learning, an advanced form of Artificial Intelligence, deepfakes are realistic photos and videos that are being weaponized on the internet. 

For instance, bad actors (and disgruntled boyfriends) have used the technique to develop and deploy fake porn videos that humiliate women. What’s more, according to the Brookings Institute, deepfakes are a “challenge to truth in politics.”

While celebrities like Jordan Peele have warned the public about this frightening technique, it continues to be an effective way for bad actors to commit fraud and blackmail. Unfortunately, deepfakes are becoming more difficult to spot, making a robust defensive posture the best way to combat this frightening threat. This includes: 

  • Implementing AI-based detection methods. 
  • Enforcing verification procedures.
  • Thinking twice before posting publicly on social media. 
  • Securing your social media accounts and regularly updating privacy settings. 

#2 Election Season Scams

As we approach a highly publicized and contentious election, bad actors are taking advantage of the moment to suppress votes, steal money, and compromise personal data. The Better Business Bureau, Identity Theft Resource Center, and the National Association of State Election Directors have all warned that election-related fraud attempts will increase as we get closer to November 3rd. 

Voters can guard against these threats by donating directly at campaign offices and carefully evaluating digital communications for potential fraud. At the same time, limiting the amount of personal information available on the internet will make it more difficult for bad actors to create authentic-looking fraud attempts that can convince voters to participate. 

OneRep scans 196 publicly available people-search sites, identifying and removing personal information. Collectively, we’ve removed more than one million records from the internet, making it more difficult for bad actors to target our customers with voter fraud and other scary tactics. 

#3 Phishing Scams

Phishing scams were already a prominent problem before the recent pandemic, but hackers have effectively exploited the crisis to make these malicious messages even more persuasive since the onset of COVID-19

Notably, cybercriminals are targeting video conferencing services like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet, to convince unsuspecting users to hand over their personal information. For example, a June analysis found more than 1,700 Zoom-related domains registered in a three-week span, many listed as suspicious or malicious. 

Fortunately, consumers can avoid being tricked by these phishing scams by increasing their efforts to identify and delete fraudulent messages. Comprehensive phishing scam awareness training improves peoples’ ability to identify fraud attempts before engaging, rendering phishing messages futile.

To Wrap It Up...

This Halloween, bad actors are working overtime to trick people into compromising critical information on the internet. However, we don’t have to be scared. Instead, we can be proactive by identifying potential vulnerabilities and taking steps to improve our defensive posture. 

Iryna Slabodchykava

Content Strategy Manager at OneRep | LinkedIn