I forgot to share this here, but I want it to spread as wide as possible. If you never reshare any of my inane babbling, reshare this:
So it's that time of year again.... no, not what you think. It's the time of year when scammers step up their activity. They know you're spending extra money right now and they want part of it.
A few things:
Is your anti-virus current? Check, I'll wait. Is it a demo that came with your computer and expired ages ago? Do yourself a favor and go to Google and search for either MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) or Avast! (If you have Windows 8, MSE is already installed in the form of Windows Defender, but we'll have to get the other anti-virus off first. Email me and we'll work through that). If you choose Avast!, keep in mind that you have to reregister every year. It doesn't cost, unless you choose a premium version or feature (but there's no reason to), you just have to do it to get your updates.
Second, keep in mind that Fedex and UPS do NOT require you to download anything to track your packages. Your bank will NOT email or call you asking for personal information. The former is a warning about a favorite method to spread Cryptovirus, about which I've written before. I don't want my Christmas gift to you to have to be "Sorry, all your personal stuff is so encrypted the NSA couldn't get into it now. Either pay the $350 or lose it all forever." The latter concerns scams that are as old as electronic banking. If you receive an email supposedly concerning your bank account. Manually go to the bank's website to log in (don't follow a link from the email) or call their customer service. If you get a call from "your bank" to call a number and verify your credit/ debit card, call a local branch or customer service directly.