It’s the season for Holiday Cyber Criminals.
In 2022, online shoppers spent a record $211.7 billion, and holiday cyber criminals got busy trying to get their unfair share. In this time of giving, sharing, and celebration, criminals use various tactics to exploit people’s good nature. Here are eight tips to protect yourself this year!
Practice caution when shopping online.
When shopping online, it is important to take several precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. First, make sure you only buy from trusted websites and reputable sellers. Check the website’s security features and ensure that they use encryption to protect your personal and financial information.
Secondly, avoid clicking on suspicious links or pop-ups, which could lead to phishing scams or malware.
Lastly, always keep your devices and software updated with the latest security patches to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. By following these steps, you can shop online with confidence and peace of mind.
Safeguard your passwords.
In today’s digital age, passwords are the keys to our digital lives. It is essential to safeguard them against unauthorized access. Make sure to create strong passwords that are difficult to guess.
A strong password should consist of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You should never use the same password for multiple accounts. Additionally, consider using a password manager to store and manage your passwords securely. By taking these measures, you can better safeguard your online accounts and personal information.
Check for skimming devices.
When you’re in a public place such as a gas station or an ATM, it’s important to inspect the card reader for any skimming devices thoroughly. Skimming is a method used by criminals to capture your credit card information and use it for fraudulent purposes.
These devices are usually small and can be easily attached to the card reader, so make sure to check for any unusual or loose parts before inserting your card. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to cover the keypad while entering your PIN to prevent anyone from seeing it. Taking these precautions can help protect your financial information and prevent unauthorized charges.
Don’t shop on public wi-fi.
When you use a public Wi-Fi network, it is possible for cybercriminals to intercept your internet traffic and potentially steal your sensitive information, including credit card details and passwords. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you avoid making any purchases while connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
Verify requests for donations.
It is necessary to confirm any requests made for donations. Please ensure that the request is authentic and legitimate before making any contribution. Additionally, be on the lookout for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors that may indicate a fraudulent request.
Monitor your accounts using automatic alerts.
With automatic alerts, you can stay on top of your accounts without constantly checking them manually. These alerts can notify you of any changes or updates to your account, such as deposits, withdrawals, or suspicious activity. By setting up automatic alerts, you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be promptly informed of any important account activity.
Check out as a guest when possible.
When shopping online, some websites offer the option to “Check out as a guest”. This means that you can purchase without creating an account or providing any personal information beyond what is necessary to complete the transaction.
Choosing this option can save you time and effort, as you won’t have to remember yet another username and password, and you won’t receive any promotional emails or other communications from the website. However, keep in mind that if you do create an account, you may be eligible for special discounts or other perks in the future.
Research new and sketchy websites.
Conduct thorough investigations and assessments of newly discovered websites that may not have a well-established reputation or credibility. It’s essential to exercise caution and careful judgment when exploring such sites because they may not always be reliable sources of information.
Take into account factors such as the site’s content, reliability of sources, and user reviews before making any decisions about the website’s trustworthiness.
BONUS TIP: If something makes you uncomfortable online, trust your instincts. You may be unable to articulate what’s wrong, but your subconscious is probably trying to tell you something. Attacks from Holiday cyber criminals have improved over the years, but our instincts are still a good weapon.
Is the safety and security of your organization a concern for you? Look no further than Commonwealth Sentinel. We provide a range of comprehensive services, including software and hardware solutions, training, and policy implementation to help minimize risks and ensure the well-being of everyone. To learn more about how we can help you achieve peace of mind or to schedule a consultation, click here or contact us at (502) 320-9885.