While the holidays are a fun time filled with get togethers, food, and giving, it’s also an ideal opportunity for a cyberattack. Between online shopping and traveling, your cybersecurity is at risk this time of year.
Don’t let that put a damper on your holiday cheer. Follow these tips to keep your devices and data safe during this magical season.
Safe Online Holiday Shopping:
Make sure your devices are up-to-date.
Ensure your devices have the latest software updates before picking out the perfect gift. Protect your devices from malware by keeping your machines clean and current.
Shop from trusted online retailers.
Besides using a secure internet connection, you should also make sure you’re shopping on a site that uses SSL protection. Only shop on sites with “https” in the URL. Sites without the “s” are not safe!
Diversify your passwords.
When buying from a new site, create a unique password for your new account. Don’t repeat your login credentials from other sites. The stronger the password, the better!
Beware of seasonal scams.
Don’t fall for phishing emails or offers that seem too good to be true. Avoid opening any attachments, clicking suspicious links, or freely sharing personal/financial info via email. Instead, go directly to the retailer’s website to search for promotions there.
Rather than using a debit card that’s linked to your bank account, choose an alternate payment method such as a credit card or a third-party online payment system like PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay.
Check credit card and bank statements regularly.
By monitoring your outgoing payments often, you’ll be able to spot anything out of the ordinary. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of text and email alert services offered by banks and credit card companies. Report any unauthorized charges immediately!
Safe Holiday Traveling:
Back up your devices before you travel.
Make sure your files, contacts, photos, and more are stored on a physical device or the cloud before hitting the road just in case something happens. Better safe than sorry!
Update your software.
Keep your operating system and apps updated. Enable automatic updates when you can, so your devices will be protected against the latest threats.
Turn on the “find my phone” feature.
Whether your device is lost, stolen, or misplaced, this handy feature will allow you to locate your phone/tablet from afar. You can also remotely wipe data or disable the device if it gets into the wrong hands.
Avoid free Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi is often unsecure. Instead, use a VPN or your phone as a hotspot when going online. Turn off your devices’ auto and remote internet connectivity features while traveling.
Keep your devices locked and secure at all times.
Make sure your devices are password protected and use strong, unique log-in credentials. Never leave them unattended! You may even want to consider privacy screens in busy airports.
Think before you post.
Be cautious about what you share on social media. Consider anything you publish to be public information. Wait until you return to post unless you want everyone to know you’re not at home.
Keep your devices and data safe. Protect yourself, so you can make the most of the holly, jolly holiday season!