The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year in the US, attracting millions of fans from around the world. With so much attention focused on the game, it’s no surprise that cyber criminals are looking to take advantage of the situation. In this post, we’ll explore some of the biggest cybersecurity concerns surrounding the Super Bowl and what you can do to protect yourself.
Pre-list note: Most scams will leverage a sense of urgency and despair to both get your attention and attempt to throw a sense of panic your way, with the hope you will act before you think. Always be weary of URGENT, ACT NOW, exclamation points, and anything else that appears if you don’t do something quick bad things are going to happen.
Alright, on with the show.
First up is phishing scams:
One of the most common cybersecurity threats at the Super Bowl is phishing scams. Cyber criminals will use emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as the NFL or a ticket vendor, to trick you into revealing sensitive information such as your login credentials or credit card information. Make sure to check for the lock icon in the browser nav bar and that the website you are on or being linked to is the one you would expect, and not a replica or mimic scam site.
Next we have malware-infected websites:
Another common threat is malware-infected websites that claim to offer live streams of the Super Bowl or free tickets. These sites are designed to trick you into downloading malware onto your device that can steal your personal information and compromise your security. Be sure to think twice before accepting terms, downloading any files or allowing access to anything on your computer.
Followed by social media scams:
Social media is also a prime target for cyber criminals during the Super Bowl. They may create fake accounts or posts that offer free tickets or merchandise in exchange for personal information or access to your social media accounts.
And last but not least, public Wi-Fi risks:
With so many people using public Wi-Fi to watch the Super Bowl, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which makes it easy for cyber criminals to intercept your data and steal your personal information.
To protect yourself from these threats, there are a few simple steps you can take:
- Be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages that ask for personal information. Let’s be honest, no major company has ever tried to save us from ourselves by reaching out pre-emptively by email to make sure they have everything they need to make OUR experience go smoothly. That’s on us 🙂
- Only download software or visit websites from trusted sources.
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your data when using public Wi-Fi.
A few good options to consider are (no affiliation, just general recs):
- ExpressVPN: https://www.expressvpn.com/go/unrestricted-1
- PIA: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/
- SurfShark: https://surfshark.com/
- Don’t share personal information on social media or enter contests that seem too good to be true. As they saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it likely is”
By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself from cybersecurity threats during the Super Bowl and enjoy the big game, eat all the foods and focus on the fun without worrying about your personal information and hard earned money going out the door unknowingly.
Cheers, have fun and stay safe out there!