5 Important Holiday Cybersecurity Tips To Not Fall Prey
Updated on: 20/05/2022
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With each holiday season comes the shopping spree and days before that people check out what things they would like to buy and wish list them. The ongoing pandemic has a ripple effect on the global shipping as well as the delivery rates owing to the shortage of the transportation and the workers. It is a good idea to conduct your shopping as soon as possible. But on doing so, people usually tend to forget about cybersecurity that they need to maintain while staying online. Thus, we brought holiday cybersecurity tips.
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Top 5 Vital Holiday Cybersecurity Tips To Stay Safe
It has been estimated that there are around 7.9 million online businesses. The 2021 Adobe report had predicted that the online customers in the United States will spend around $209 billion in 2022 alone. With the growth of online businesses and the convenience of ordering numerous gifts from the comfort of home. Most people focus on Christmas cyber security especially with the western countries. But unfortunately, security online is required in all events and festivities.
This guide also makes it quite helpful to follow the cybersecurity best practices. By following the holiday cybersecurity tips or rather holiday shopping cybersecurity tips, it will ensure that the criminals cannot compromise your personal information like the login credentials, credit card numbers and more. If you are attempting to learn holiday travel cybersecurity tips, then this guide will be equally helpful.
1. Shop Only From The Trustworthy Websites
With a whopping number of the online shopping sites, it can be very tempting to purchase something from any website that people have not heard about nor possesses reviews from the real customers. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for such websites and the holiday season as they create fake sites similar to the legitimate versions.
These websites aim to lure prospective customers by offering attractive products and services at unimaginable low prices but for a limited period. Thus, it is essential to research a website thoroughly before randomly placing any order. This will help to mitigate the risk of purchasing from a malicious or fake website that might steal, compromise or even sell your sensitive data.
Thus, while you are researching about an online store, you are required to check for the following:
✅ Reviews regarding the website and the products or the services.
✅ The BBB or Better Business Bureau Accreditation.
✅ Social media presence of the brand and what the followers say about them.
✅ Try to verify the contact information such as the address, email address, phone number and check if contact form is present.
2. Make Use Of Strong Passwords & Multi-Factor Authentication
The next step under the holiday cybersecurity tips will be to create and use strong passwords irrespective of what time of the year it is and if it is any holiday season. The rule is fixed. With the improvement in the technology, the malicious hackers will locate and implement new methods for breaking into the online accounts.
One of the easiest paths to gain access to the accounts is by guessing the easy passwords. The best part is that you can definitely safeguard your data from the dangerous data breaches by abiding by these multi-factor authentication and password suggestions under the cybersecurity tips for the holidays.
While creating a password, you must remember to:
✅ Use a combination of the lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers.
✅ Use a unique password or passcode for each of the online accounts.
✅ Take help from a reputed password manager service that will securely store all of your passwords on a platform such as LastPass.
✅ You must never choose a password that comprises the personal information and can be easily discovered such as your username, birthday, pet’s name or address.
✅ You must never share your passwords with the others.
✅ you must always store moth the written and the digital login details in a secured location.
✅ Passwords must not be as simple as “123456789” or “123ABC” or “PASSWORD”.
Considering multi-factor authentication security tips, this offers an additional layer of security for the customers. Most of the reputed banks and the payment sites will also definitely possess this security feature. If your favorite ecommerce website is offering such a feature to its customers, then you can go ahead and enable this feature in the user account settings.
When a user enters their correct login details, the website must then request a one-time-verification code or OTP. These verification codes might typically be sent via the phones, email or text. In an event, even if the hackers gain access to the login information of an individual, they will not be able to login without the unique code sent to the registered mobile number of the customer. Thus, the user has to enter the correct code to get into the profile and that too within just 5-10 minutes following the receipt of the code.
3. Monitor Your Bank Activity Regularly
This is yet another important tip that is recommended to be done regularly. As the cybercriminals are most active during the holiday season, it is a good practice to monitor your bank account weekly. In such a scenario, if you detect any suspicious activity on your bank accounts or on the credit card statements, then you must contact your bank immediately and inform them about the red flags.
Following this, your financial provider will verify the transaction that might not be made by you and then work to recover the lost funds back to your account. Many of the fraudsters will then begin with small transactions from the online stores where you shop most frequently.
Slowly, they will progress to the much larger transactions that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. You need to keep in mind that you solely possess a limited amount of time for reporting the possible fraud. This gives a reason why regular monitoring is a part of the holiday cybersecurity tips.
4. Beware Of The Holiday Scams
Being an online customer, you will someday or the other come across online scams. These scams increase in the holiday seasons. The most prominent ones include the phishing scams that comprise of the emails, text messages, phone calls and the social media ads. When you receive all of these scams, it becomes essential to remain calm and also avoid doing anything hastily.
A typical example of such is when you receive an email containing a link to a fake website. The website might also appear to be a very trustworthy legit website, which in actual is not. Once you land on the fake site, you will be asked to enter your login credentials or purchase anything with the help of your credit card details. You must always trust your gut. If anything seems too good to be true, then understand it is!
The below mentioned are some holiday cybersecurity tips for dealing with the scams as a part of cybersecurity awareness:
✅ When you receive any message, look up at the contact information that is associated with the text message like the company name, person’s name and email address. This will help you to determine if something is scam or legit.
✅ You must never click on a link from any unknown source like email, social ad or text.
✅ You must always compare the link address from the fake website to the legit website’s URL by hovering over the link.
✅ You must never provide any personal information to anyone who calls you. Beware that the scammers might pretend to be from your insurance company, doctor’s office or the bank. And also claim that you are required to provide the information immediately. However, the legitimate companies would never contact you for any sensitive data.
5. Keep All Your Device Updated
Are you aware of the fact that the operating systems of all your devices frequently release updates that fix the bugs and the security issues? How likely are you to update your device immediately? If you are someone likely to avoid security patch updation, then you must consider updating all the apps and the OS of your devices at the earliest as soon as updates are required.
This will ensure that all your devices are best equipped to fight off the hackers who are attempting to locate the loopholes or security vulnerabilities for gaining access to your computer, tablet or phone. You can also enable the automatic updates to make it easier so that your device is as secure as possible.
Why Let The Hackers Ruin Your Holiday Cheer?
Irrespective of the fact of you being a business owner or not, these holiday cybersecurity tips will aid in mitigating your chances of becoming one of the victims of cyber attacks during the holidays. We all know of a family member, a friend or a business partner who has been preyed on by malicious hackers that live on the web. By abiding by these recommendations, you can also reduce the likelihood of the hackers ruining your holiday cheer.