Valentine’s Day beckons. Flower delivery drivers are gassing up their trucks. Chocolate-filled hearts are flying off store shelves. Romantic restaurants are taking reservations. Women wait with baited breath for anticipated, delightful surprises.
The day arrives, and in your inbox sits a love letter from a secret admirer. Who is it? Did your significant other remember Valentine’s Day without a reminder? John from finance? The guy you trade looks with at Starbucks every morning? Who? You rush to click.
While you were dreaming of champagne and rose petals, cyber crooks were dreaming of new ways to ruin your perfect day.
“That surprise e-card could contain a whole load of heartache in the form of a hard-drive hack designed to steal your identity,” security evangelist Lloyd Borett said. “While receiving an anonymous card from a Valentine can be exciting, opening an anonymous email with ‘I Love You’ in the subject line could be courting disaster.”
Nefarious emails aren’t the only roadblock to romance this Valentine’s Day. Online daters, beware the cyber lotharios. They may be lurking, bent on stealing identities, not hearts.
Not that any of the dangers should keep you from slipping your crush a “Be Mine” candy heart. Lloyd suggests you embrace the day, and the one you love. Just take a few precautions.
Be smart when meeting an online connection. Meet in a public place and keep personal identifying information private. Do some research. Lloyd says a quick Internet search is perfectly reasonable.
When ordering Kiss Me cupcakes and Cupid’s Bouquet online, Lloyd suggests sticking with reputable sites that use encryption. Once you’ve ordered, clear your cookies.
And yes, resist opening sweet tweets and secret solicitations from mystery mailers, no matter how sure you are it’s from your honey bun.
There’s nothing like a computer virus infection to ruin your evening.