Is Your Cybersecurity Ready for the Eclipse?
Great American Eclipse of 2017
Today is going to be a very busy day. Tulsa Public Schools, along with several other local school districts, start classes today. But the big event so many have been waiting for, the first total eclipse of the sun on the U.S. mainland since 1979, is about all we’re going to hear about today.
And, it may not come and go without problems. Don’t be surprised if you experience extended cell phone outages due to the tremendous amount of activity that’s likely to overwhelm cell carrier’s lines. Also, the eclipse is the perfect distraction for cyber attackers so be on your guard at work and school.
Vigilance Concerning Scams Today
But, just like during and after any major event, people do need to avoid falling victim to scams perpetuated by people with bad intentions. They’re out there waiting for an opportunity to dupe innocent victims, and unfortunately, they’re extremely clever cybersecurity hackers with evil intentions. So today, like any other day, be vigilant. Don’t let the eclipse, or your desire to view it, distract you into being tricked into downloading some kind of eclipse viewing site from scam emails you may receive. They could contain damaging computer viruses, malware, phishing scams, and even ransomware.
Also, if you get a phone call from someone you don’t know claiming to be with a big-name company instructing you to do anything with your workstation, simply ignore them. They’ll be looking to capitalize on any fear or uncertainty something like a once in a lifetime solar eclipse could trigger so don’t allow them to trick you.
Eclipse Viewing Reminders
If you plan to view the eclipse be sure you wear glasses that have been properly certified as safe from a reputable source. The last thing you want to do is severely damage your eyes. And remember, your cell phone and digital camera need protection, too. Most will be permanently damaged if they are pointed directly at the eclipse without a darkening device you’ve hopefully already obtained. You can also use the NASA website if you want to follow the path. They’ve set up a special eclipse web page, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ for everything you’d ever want to know about the eclipse.
Then there are the millions of people who will make trips to locations along the eclipse path. These folks are paying up to $2,000 to stay at hotels, RV parks, Airbnb locations, and even people’s backyards for two minutes of darkness. Eclipse mania is officially out of control.
In Oregon, the state has warned citizens to prepare to shelter in place as they fear all traffic will stop due to drivers trying to see the eclipse, cell phone lines will become overloaded, and emergency response times will be crippled. This could happen anywhere along the path of totality as small towns are going to see their populations swell to possibly ten times the norm. And, of course, conspiracy theorists and astrologists have hundreds of doomsday warnings; one of which says President Trump will be “strangely affected” due to his sun sign.
Eclipse Special Offers
Not everything happening today is threatening, however. Many companies are cashing in big on the eclipse with creative promotions. Krispy Kreme is offering their first-ever chocolate glazed doughnut during the event. Casper Mattress is setting up a sleeping camp in the Wyoming city that shares its name to help eclipse watchers catch some Zs for $499 before and after the big event. Shatto Milk Company is selling black milk with a cookies and cream flavor. Southwest Airlines has pinpointed five flights that will be closest to the path of totality and will serve “cosmic cocktails’ during the event. Royal Caribbean cruise line has a “Total Eclipse Cruise” sailing along the eclipse path.
If, however, the darkness in the middle of the day causes you to think about your network’s security take a look at our Top 10 Cybersecurity Threats. Then, call us and schedule your firm for our Overwatch® Cybersecurity Exam to prevent reputation damage, data breach, and fines or penalties.