Tips for Online Safety During the Holidays

The convenience of one-click ordering and next-day delivery are attractive to today’s consumers. Online Grinches know this and use every trick in the book to rob you and your business blind. The holiday shopping season is particularly lucrative for cybercriminals for several reasons: the sheer increase in online shopping, consumers’ thirst for online bargains, and the distractions and busyness that are synonymous with this time of year. Given that 91 percent of all cyberattacks begin with email, it’s best to be on high alert especially during the holiday shopping season. Here are tips for online safety during the holidays.

  1. Don’t Click That Link

Beware of emails, texts or other promotions that urge you to click on a link. It might be tempting to click on that offer for 75% off the espresso machine you’ve been eyeing for the break room, but don’t. Criminals will use malicious links to direct unsuspecting victims to a spoofed landing page that looks like the real deal. There they will steal your login credentials and credit card number. Instead of clicking on a link, type the web address of the retailer in your web browser.

  1. Avoid Unfamiliar Retailers

Scammers set up phony sites during the holidays to attract bargain hunters. If you’ve never heard of an online store before, chances are it’s not a legitimate retailer. Be leery of handing over your credit card information to sites that offer deals that are too good to be true.

  1. Don’t Shop Using Free Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi at the coffee shop or airport is super convenient, but not cyber safe. Wait until you are home or at the office using a secure network to shop online. If you do make purchases outside of the home or office, be sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your phone as a hotspot.

  1. Use Strong Passwords and Use Multifactor Authentication

Creating long and unique passphrases and using multifactor authentication will help prevent criminals from high jacking your online accounts.

  1. Monitor Your Bank and Credit Card Statements

With fraud more prevalent during the holiday shopping season, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your bank and credit card accounts for any unusual activity or purchases. Act quickly if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Creating a cybersecurity-aware culture within your company will greatly increase your odds against getting hacked. Remind staff members to be even more vigilant during the holidays. If you’d like more information on how to strengthen your security posture now and year round, contact us today.

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