Online greeting cards are a great product for anyone who tends to be a bit late in sending out holiday greeting cards by regular mail.  They are easy to send and many are free.  They also can be very entertaining and offer a chance to send a timely greeting even if you have forgotten an important holiday, birthday or anniversary until the last minute.  However, they also are fraught with scams and dangers.  Clicking on a phony online greeting card sent to you can result in your downloading a wide variety of malware including not only ransomware, but also a keystroke logging program that will steal all of the information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.  An additional problem is that even if you have the most up to date security software on your computer or phone, it will not protect you from the latest “zero day” defect malware that exploit previously undiscovered software vulnerabilities.  It generally takes the security software companies at least thirty days after first becoming aware of new strains of malware to develop security software to combat those threats.

TIPS

When a legitimate  e card is sent to you, the email message will state the name of the person who is sending you the card.  When the message states that it is from “a friend” or a “secret admirer” you should not click on the link because if you do so, you will end up donwloading any of a wide variety of dangerous malware.  As an additional precaution you should also make sure that your firewall and security software are constantly kept current and up to date.  Finally, if you get an online greeting card from a name that is a common name, you should contact that person before opening the card to make sure that the card is legitimate.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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