The holiday season is upon us, and while you’re baking the perfect pumpkin pie or decking the halls and sipping on eggnog, there are cyber Grinches lurking in the virtual shadows, eager to steal your digital candy canes. But we’ve got you covered, let’s sleigh (pun intended) these cyber threats and help you enjoy a secure holiday season. Here are some helpful tips to help make it a little less stressful:
- Be Aware of Increased Phishing Attacks — Expect more holiday-themed phishing e-mails and scams. Be extra cautious and verify the authenticity of messages.
- Secure Online Shopping — Look for secure websites with “https” and the padlock symbol. Consider using payment methods with fraud protection.
- Mobile App Security — Be cautious when downloading holiday shopping apps. Stick to official app stores and read reviews.
- E-Gift Cards — Use reputable sources for e-gift cards. Scammers may send fake ones.
- Shipping Alerts — Beware of fake shipping notifications. Verify them directly with the carrier or retailer.
- Social Media Privacy — Review your privacy settings on social media. Avoid sharing personal information that could be used for scams.
- Phishing via Text — Scammers may also use SMS for phishing. Don’t click on links in unsolicited texts.
- Charitable Giving — Verify the legitimacy of charities before donating. Use trusted platforms for donations.
- Public Wi-Fi — Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. If you must, use a virtual private network (VPN).
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) — Enable 2FA for your accounts for an extra layer of security.
- Update Software — Keep your devices and software up to date and patch security vulnerabilities when updates are available.
- Use Strong Passwords — Use unique and strong passwords for your accounts. Consider using a password manager.
- Educate Family Members — Share these tips with family members to help protect them as well.
To wrap it up, it’s clear staying safe online is more important than ever. In a time when the digital world plays a significant role in our celebrations and gift-giving, being vigilant and proactive is a gift you can give yourself and your loved ones. Remember to be cautious with online transactions and keep your devices and accounts secure. For more cybersecurity information visit: https://www.cisa.gov.
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