The holidays are a busy and exciting time for everyone. However, the season also presents heightened cybersecurity concerns, leaving you more vulnerable to attack. Below are some tips to help you stay safe from cyberattacks during the holiday season.
1. Keep your own network secure.
Individuals and organizations alike can protect themselves from cyberattacks during the holidays by investing in the proper network security measures. Firewalls and virus detection software, for example, can stop cyber criminals in their tracks when they try to break into your system.
2. Be aware of phishing attacks.
During the holidays, cyber criminals have the perfect opportunity to use phishing attacks as an attempt to trick you into providing them access to sensitive information. They may send emails with malicious links or attachments, or they may hack into another website and infect it with code that redirects you to their malicious site. When phishing, cyber criminals do their best to disguise themselves as a trusted party, such as a well-known retailer. Be aware of the possibility of these attacks so you will be less likely to become a victim.
3. Don’t shop on unreliable websites.
When using the internet to make holiday purchases, work only with retailers and websites you trust. If you aren’t sure whether a website is trustworthy, call the retailer or make a visit to the store in person to make the purchase instead.
4. Protect all your devices.
Keep in mind that the computers in your home or office are not the only devices with cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Keep your tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices protected from threats at all times. Be sure these devices include cybersecurity software and password protection. Don’t leave them unattended at any time, and don’t give out your passwords to anyone.
5. Check your credit cards and accounts regularly.
One of cyber criminals’ primary goals during the holidays is to gain access to your credit card or bank accounts. Check these accounts on a regular basis for any sign of suspicious activity. If you notice anything suspicious, report the activity to your card issuer as soon as possible so the card issuer or bank can freeze the account and cancel all fraudulent charges. If your card issuer or bank contacts you about suspected fraud, respond as quickly as possible.
During the holidays, the threat of cyber attacks is higher. By following these tips, you can minimize these risks.
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