It is the holiday season, which means a lot of online shopping. We all love a good cyber deal, but make sure those deals are legitimate. This is the time for cyber criminals to take advantage. There are a few tips you can follow to keep you and your information safe.
Tip #1: Use Antivirus protection
Antivirus programs can protect your computer from viruses. Be sure to always have an antivirus enabled whenever you are on your computer. Ensuring that antivirus is able to protect your device from any malicious attachments you might receive, such as a fake PDF receipt.
Tip #2: Be aware of phishing emails
Be always aware of phishing e-mails, especially during the holiday season. Make note of the coupons, holiday e-cards, and shipping confirmation e-mails that you receive, malicious ones can potentially steal your personal information. If you notice that it is from an abnormal e-mail address or the subject of the e-mail has typos or grammar errors, it is right to assume it is not legitimate. Further, our data tells us that most people that fall for phishing scams think the phish is coming from a trusted source. So, to repurpose that old adage from shop class: Check twice, click once!
Tip #3: Browse to secure websites
Shop on only websites you know are secure. One way to know if a website is secure is if the website uses https, the “s” stands for secure. Another way is if you see a lock pad icon to the left of the hyperlink you are currently on; this also indicates that it is a secure website. Always hover over a link before you click on it to check for https.
Tip #4: Pay with a credit card or gift card
It is better to use a credit card or gift card when shopping online to prevent unwanted access to your checking account. Make sure to check your bank statements frequently to possibly catch any unwanted charges. If you see an unwanted charge, first call your bank and then call the business. Also, do not save your card information to any website, yes it makes it more convenient for next time, but it also puts your information more at risk.
Tip #5: Change your passwords
As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to review your passwords. Use the holiday season as an opportunity to create a fresh set of passwords. Change the passwords for all of your old services and think of new passwords for the new services you might have this holiday season. Yes—it is tedious, but your security is worth it.
Tip #6: Use strong passwords
When creating a password, make it something difficult. Make sure to use symbols, numbers, capital letters, and the longer password, the better. Also, do not reuse the same password for all your accounts.
These tips are great to follow not only during the holiday season—but it goes a long way to consider these tips throughout the new year. Cyber safety continues to be an important topic that all of us need to consider while engaging with the net. If you have any questions regarding strengthening your security posture, Kivu is here to assist!