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It’s a steal

Tips to avoid bogus online holiday ads

Although USPS policy permits employees to use postal equipment for limited personal use, it’s best to limit online shopping to your home computer.

The Postal Service wants employees to watch out for “malvertisers” who con online holiday shoppers with bogus advertisements.

Malvertisers are scammers who promote too-good-to-be-true deals in order to trick online shoppers into clicking links embedded in spoofed or fake ads.

The links often lead to malware — malicious software designed to compromise computers once downloaded.

To avoid malvertisers, the CyberSafe at USPS advises employees to beware of ads that:

• Aren’t professionally designed
• Urge shoppers to “click here now”
• Contain spelling or grammatical errors
• Have wrong hyperlinks when a computer cursor hovers over them
• Have unrelated pop-up promotions

Although USPS Handbook AS-805, Information Security, notes that employees can “make limited personal use of Postal Service office equipment” for such things as an occasional brief internet search, it’s best to limit online shopping to your home computer. This will help avoid the possibility of compromising the USPS network.

Employees should use the “Report of CyberSafe” button in their Outlook toolbar, email or call 866-877-7247 to report suspicious cybersecurity activity they encounter at work.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional information.

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