Back to Top Skip to main content

Cyber fitness, awareness key during ‘season of shopping’

Making cyber security a priority while shopping or browsing online can help you protect yourself from more than you bargained for during this ‘season of shopping.’ Making cyber security a priority while shopping or browsing online can help you protect yourself from more than you bargained for during this ‘season of shopping.’

Recommended Content:

Technology | Secure Messaging

With the holidays upon us and the season of sales and shopping nearing its height, the risk has increased for online scams and fraudulent activity targeting consumers. You can make a big difference in protecting your personal and financial information by making cybersecurity a priority.

“Everyone should be aware of scams or frauds targeting email users and shoppers,” said Servio Medina, a Branch Chief in the Cyber Security Division at the Defense Health Agency. These attempts to access your information can look like offers for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or holiday discounts, he advised, and often seem too good to be true.

Medina warned that criminal hackers can easily spoof an email address to make it look like an offering from a trusted retailer or institution, such as a bank. “Now everything is click, click, click – but we should stop and think about what we’re clicking on before we engage, and what better time than shopping season?” he said.

Justin Hodges, chief of DHA Cyber Operations Center and director of Cybersecurity Service Provider for Space & Naval Warfare Systems, said cybercriminals may also create websites to look like they represent a charity in order to collect financial information. While some fraudulent websites can be easily identifiable, such as through a .net domain or unfamiliar email address, some more advanced websites may not be as easy to spot, he warned.

“You need to be really careful that the websites you’re going to are in fact legitimate websites,” said Hodges, who recommends browsing through a domain with “https,” which often shows a lock symbol. The “s” in the domain indicates that a website encrypts information to transit it over the internet. He also encourages consumers to research the website or company name in a search engine to see if any reviews come up.

“Scams will very often have little to no reviews on the internet, which should be a red flag,” said Hodges. By visiting a fraudulent website, shoppers run the risk of accidentally giving hackers access to their financial or other personal information, and access to computers and home files, he said.

“You don’t need to click on anything or download anything for hackers to exploit the way your browser is configured and download malicious software that gives them access to your home PC,” said Hodges. “Once financial or personal information is taken, it can be stored in data bases on the dark web and sold, making you more susceptible to security breaches in the future.”

Medina said shoppers can take some actions to help avoid a phishing attack, such as opening emails in plain text rather than html, or hovering the cursor over a hyperlink without clicking on it to check if the URL leads to a legitimate source. Additional protective steps include updating security software, using a password-protected network, and avoiding unverified public Wi-Fi when making transactions online, he said.

“A lot of people think home networks are safe compared to browsing the web while using a mobile hot spot or free Wi-Fi, but if you don’t take steps to protect your network at home, you may not be any safer at home,” said Hodges.

The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber awareness campaign, STOP.THINK.CONNECT., provides additional online safety tips, such as watching out for deals that look too good to be true, shopping through trusted retailers, and using a credit card instead of a debit card.

The National Credit Union Administration Fraud Prevention Center educates consumers on how to recognize common scams, including package delivery and gift card scams, phishing emails, charity scams, and fraudulent ads. It also offers information on the “evil twin” Wi-Fi scam, which involves a scammer putting out a Wi-Fi signal that looks just like a complimentary one available at coffee shops, airports, and hotels.

“Cyber health is important to the safety and well-being of our warfighters and their families,” said Hodges. “The more people know about cyber health, the better they can protect themselves.”

You also may be interested in...

Military to bring eye care to front lines with mobile app

Article
4/11/2019
Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a Soldier at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Air Force and Army medical researchers are developing a smart phone application to connect providers downrange with on-call ophthalmologists either in-theater or at a clinic

Recommended Content:

Technology | Vision Loss

Military Health System Data Repository (MDR)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

The MDR is the centralized data repository that captures, archives, validates, integrates and distributes Defense Health Agency (DHA) corporate health care data worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology | MDR, M2, ICDs Functional Support

Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool (M2)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

M2 is a powerful ad-hoc query tool used to manage and oversee operations worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System – Industrial Hygiene (DOEHRS-IH)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

DOEHRS-IH allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to manage occupational and environmental health risk data and actively track biological, chemical, physical health hazards and engineered nano-object process to service members worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology

TOL Patient Portal Secure Messaging

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

TRICARE Online Patient Portal (TOLPP) Secure Messaging (SM) provides Military Health System patients who receive care at a military treatment facility or clinic access to a robust messaging capability, allowing authorized patients the ability to securely communicate with their health care team.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Defense Medical Human Resources System – internet (DMHRSi)

Fact Sheet
4/4/2019

DMHRSi manages human resources for the Defense Health Agency. It is the only Integrated Human Resource System within the Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Composite Health Care System (CHCS)

Fact Sheet
3/14/2019

The Composite Health Care System (CHCS) allows clinicians to electronically perform patient appointment processes and scheduling, order laboratory tests, authorize radiology procedures and prescribe medications.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Centralized Credentials Quality Assurance System (CCQAS)

Fact Sheet
3/14/2019

Centralized Credentials Quality Assurance System (CCQAS) is a web-based worldwide credentialing, privileging, risk management and adverse actions application that supports more than 105,000 professionals providing health and wellness services to active duty military personnel, their families and selected retirees.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Airmen perform in-flight Transportation Isolation System training

Article
3/14/2019
A C-17 Globemaster III is prepped to transport a Transportation Isolation System during a training exercise that allows Airmen to practice the most effective and safest form of transportation for patients and their medical professionals. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Defense Department can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Miller)

This mission capability is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Technology

Coding and Compliance Editor (CCE)

Fact Sheet
3/13/2019

CCE supports the Department of Defense efforts to improve coding accuracy and reimbursements for inpatient and outpatient services.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Mobile app aids ‘truly informed’ contraception conversations between patients, providers

Article
3/11/2019
A new app provides information about contraception with the goal of helping patients make informed decisions with their providers. The app includes a module to address the unique needs of servicewomen around deployment. (Photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair)

Decide + Be Ready, an app that provides information on contraception for men and women, is designed to help patients make informed decisions with their providers. The app also includes a module to address the unique needs of service women around deployment and duties.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Women's Health | Technology

Gone in a flash: ‘Floaters’ in field of vision can warn of vision issue

Article
2/14/2019
Seeing flashes of light or floating debris-like shapes appear in your field of vision should be reason to visit a provider, experts say. These symptoms can indicate retinal issues, which may lead to retinal detachment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston)

Jane Acton was familiar with vision issues and her quick action after experiencing the onset of retinal detachment was vital in recovering her vision

Recommended Content:

Technology | Vision Loss

Fairchild's 92nd Medical Group celebrates MHS GENESIS 2-year anniversary

Article
2/11/2019
A cake celebrating the second year anniversary of Military Health System GENESIS' arrival to Fairchild's 92nd Medical Group at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Feb. 8, 2019. MHS GENESIS is a Department of Defense-wide electronic health record and management system that combines health records from base, civilian and Veteran’s Affairs primary care providers, pharmacies, laboratories and dental clinics into one network. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

MHS GENESIS is a DoD-wide electronic health record combing records from base, civilian and Veteran’s Affairs primary care providers, pharmacies, laboratories and dental clinics into one network

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Electronic Health Record | MHS GENESIS | Technology

Call for abstracts open for 2019 Military Health System Research Symposium

Article
2/11/2019
More than 3,000 people attended the 2018 MHSRS meeting. Attendees participated in a wide range of sessions targeting combat casualty care, military operational medicine including psychological health and resilience, clinical and rehabilitative medicine, medical simulation and health information sciences, and military infectious diseases. (DoD photo)

MHSRS is the DoD’s premier scientific meeting and addresses the unique medical needs of the Warfighter

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Technology | Medical Research and Development | MHSRS 2018

Virtual training platform maintains, improves military surgeon’s skills

Article
2/8/2019
Airmen assigned to the 99th Medical Group perform in an orthopedic spine surgery at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

The DoD’s surgeons are talented and qualified, but it takes experience and time to become proficient

Recommended Content:

Technology
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing; Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.