By TJ Lundeen / firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings, work parties, and family obligations, making it all too easy to forget about cybersecurity.
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, cybercriminals are on the prowl, looking to dupe the unsuspecting masses with scams to steal personal information, financial data, and other sensitive information.
How can your organization and its employees ensure your holidays are happy and your data remains protected?
Don’t use public Wi-Fi for sensitive information
Wi-Fi connections that are public can be accessed by anyone, thus leaving those networks open for fraudsters to pillage your data. In the era of online shopping via cell phones and tablets, more personal information like names, addresses, bank accounts, and credit cards are shared without a thought of encryption or security. Don’t open your wallet to cybercriminals by using public Wi-Fi to transmit your most valuable data.
Only use verified websites
Website security is a critical component to keeping your data safe, regardless of what deal you’re hunting. Trusted websites should have “https” at the beginning of the website and a lock image near the address bar, showing that the page is secure and encrypts all information that it is transmitting. Without encryption, your data is an open book for hackers.
Change your passwords
This might seem like the simplest activity that doesn’t hold much weight, but your login credentials open the door for cybercriminals to infiltrate a network or open accounts in your name. Even if you haven’t been breached in the past, which is unlikely, using the same login credentials across accounts is a recipe for disaster. Work to have unique passwords for all of your accounts, using software like LastPass to help create and store information. Many hacks come from credential stuffing attacks, where a hacker will use information stolen from previous breaches to try and infiltrate other accounts.
Be suspicious of email links
Yes, everyone gets thousands of emails around the holidays with promises of big sales, epic savings, and an opportunity that is too good to pass up. How often do you check to see that the sender is actually a representative of the business? Oftentimes, phishing scammers can make an email look identical to a legit one from your favorite brand, then include dummy links that lead you away from the savings and sales. Be ultra-careful to avoid falling down a phishing hole this holiday season.
We hope your holidays are a wonderful time spent with friends and family, not trying to recover accounts, change passwords, and replace compromised cards. Take an extra step in your security and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!