Safeguard Your Holiday Online Shopping

November 2, 2023

As the clock ticks down to the holiday season, November marks the commencement of holiday shopping and a timely reminder to strengthen our cyber defenses amidst the festive cheer. With the increase in online shopping, social networking, and digital communication, this is the time of year that we see a parallel rise in cyber threats.

Here are essential tips to keep you secure during this holiday season

1. Secure Yourself with Strong Passwords: Just as you wouldn’t leave your home unlocked, the same goes for your online accounts. Use complex and unique passwords for each account. A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols can turn a simple password into a robust barrier. Consider a reputable password manager to keep track of all your passwords.

2. Two-Factor Authentication: The Extra Layer of Protection: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. This adds an additional layer of security, ensuring that even if someone gets hold of your password, they can't access your account without a second form of verification.

3. Beware of "If it's Too Good To Be True Deals!": Phishing Scams: Phishing attempts often increase during the holidays, as cybercriminals send emails or texts posing as legitimate companies to lure you into giving away personal information. Always verify the source and never click on suspicious links.

4. Update Your System to be Safe: Software Updates: Regularly updating your software and operating systems is like keeping your sleigh polished and primed for the snow. These updates patch security vulnerabilities and keep your devices fortified against attacks.

5. Shop on Reputable Sites: Stick to well-known and reputable e-commerce sites when doing your holiday shopping. Look for the padlock symbol next to the website’s URL, which signifies a secure connection.

6. Monitor Your Festive Footprint: Regular Account Checks: Regularly check your bank statements and online accounts for any unauthorized transactions. The sooner you spot something amiss, the quicker you can act to resolve it.

7. Educate Your Family: Cyber Awareness: Make sure everyone in the family is aware of the risks. Educate them on the importance of not sharing personal information online and the signs of a scam.

8. Secure Wi-Fi Connections: When out and about, avoid conducting financial transactions or logging into accounts over public Wi-Fi. If necessary, use a VPN to encrypt your connection.

9. The Gift of Backups: Regular backups are the equivalent of having an emergency savings fund for your data. In the unfortunate event of a cyber-attack, backups will ensure you can restore your information without paying a ransom.

10. Discreet Merrymaking: Social Media Caution: Be cautious about what you share on social media. Oversharing can lead to identity theft and burglaries if you’re letting the world know your home will be empty.

As we embrace the spirit of giving, let’s not give away our personal information.

By following these cybersecurity tips, you can enjoy the holidays with peace of mind, knowing that your digital presence is secure. Stay vigilant and have a cyber-safe holiday season!