The holiday season often leads to an increased risk of cybersecurity threats. You may notice an increase in offers coming to you via email, or online ads with attractive promotions for gifts, travel, etc. Unfortunately, some of these offers don’t turn out exactly what you ordered and paid for, so instead of saving money, you can be fooled and get into a situation of data theft, identity, or personal items. Therefore, when it comes to online security, here are the things you can do to protect yourself during the holiday season.
1) Shop on trusted sites
Sometimes the “best deals” come with hidden malware. Stay safe while shopping online by visiting only known and trusted sites (before entering personal information, make sure your payment method is secure – the web address starts with https and has a padlock next to it). Also, buy through apps downloaded from official app stores only.
2) Check your bank statements
Keep track of your monthly bank statements and check online and personal purchases to make sure there are no fraud charges. If you notice any charges that you have not initiated, whether large or small, contact your bank immediately.
3) Familiarize yourself with the latest online scams
Many scams happen just in time for the holidays, hidden behind the tradition of humanitarian giving. It’s important for you to recognize when someone is trying to collect your personal information through social engineering. Familiarize yourself with the most common social engineering schemes, such as phishing, and learn how to avoid them.
4) Enable 2-factor authentication (2FA)
2FA provides an additional verification step that enhances the security of an account and makes it more difficult to compromise. 2FA is available for corporate as well as personal accounts such as email, social networks, banking, etc.
5) Connect safely
Use only Wi-Fi connections that require login information. If you must use free or public Wi-Fi, do not download or share personal or sensitive information. Wait until you have access to a secure Wi-Fi connection, or use your device’s data to access information or make an online purchase.
6) Keep track of your devices
Be careful! Know where your devices are at all times. They store a lot of sensitive information – confidential documents, banking information, social media accounts, passwords, e-mail accounts, etc. If your device is lost or stolen, report the disappearance immediately to the authorities.