29 Nov How To Stay Cyber Safe Over The Holiday Season
Don’t Let A Cyber Grinch Steal Your Christmas
It’s that time of year again! The holidays are coming soon and millions of Americans will be doing an abundance of online shopping over the next few weeks. Starting with Black Friday and continuing up until the end of the year. It is a joyous time but unfortunately, that joy can be overshadowed by a few Christmas Grinches. The Grinches in this story are cybercriminals.
Knowing how to protect yourself from cyber threats, will help you rest easy when ticking off your shopping list online.
Our IT Security professionals have put together some tips that are easy to follow and will keep the Grinches at bay, so you can enjoy your holiday season.
- Set Up New Passwords
Now is a good time to change all of your passwords and security questions. Many cybercriminals have begun stealing data and passwords before the holiday buying season starts. They aim to hide their transactions amongst yours, and by the time you detect things, it will be too late and untraceable. Make a new set of passwords and also new security questions.
Never use the same password. Each password should be unique. It is also wise to use a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane.
*A great tip to make a good security question is to not use the truth. For example; if your mother’s maiden name is Smith, change it to Taylor. Personal information can be found online and cyber criminals have special programs to do so.
- Only Use Trusted Sites
When shopping at a favorite online store, go directly to that site. Do not follow any 3rd party links to the store and don’t put it in a search engine like Google first. Go directly to the site. The more steps and sites you visit in between, the more opportunity there is for malware to affect you along the way. Popular online sites are usually fairly secure, however, using 3rd party links to arrive there is not guaranteed to be safe. There are also services you can use such as Google Safe Browsing which will let you know if the site has hosted malware in the past 90 days. You can also look for site verification indicators on the left side of the location bar which is available with most browsers as well as check for HTTPS vs. the less-secure HTTP.
- Clear Your Browsing Data
An easy way to help you keep some of your information secure is to clear your browsing data often. This can be a little annoying at first; it is nice and convenient when you don’t have to re-login every time you visit a site, however you know what is really not nice? Identity theft.
- Choose Safety Over Convenience
It can be very tempting to keep profiles set up with online stores or have your details remembered by a site. Be aware however, that just like not clearing your browsing history, when you do this, you run the risk of having that data available for someone to steal. If you had to balance the risk over the convenience, you would see the risk is not worth it.
- Get a Security Audit
This is a must for any business participating in the holiday season. Before the holidays hit, ask for a security audit from an IT Support company. Take their advice too and get extra protection if recommended.
- Monitor Systems
From your computer networks to your credit cards. Check in regularly to see if there has been any unusual activity. Early detection and prevention is the key.
For more information on cybersecurity check out these links;