Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Safe this Holiday Season

    [By Craig Debban, CISO of QuSecure]

    Have you ever been on a trip and realized that you forgot to pack something important? It’s easy to overlook things during the hustle and bustle of traveling, especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, cybercriminals take advantage of this hectic time to target holiday shoppers and travelers. Their goal is to catch you off guard when or where you least expect it. Additionally, if you’re like me you might be doing some last-minute shopping and looking for the perfect gift.  Some tips to consider below:

    Secure your devices when they are not in use

    Never leave your phone, tablet, or computer unattended. Try to take your device with you wherever you go. If you do need to step away, lock your device. Then, ask a trusted friend or family member to keep your device safe while you’re gone.

    Beware of Public Wi-Fi

    Always disable the option to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks on your phone, tablet, or computer. Instead, manually choose which network you’d like to join. Only use Wi-Fi networks that you know are safe, and never connect to random hot-spots.

    Never install unfamiliar software

    There are hundreds of shopping apps out there. Some of these apps may be malicious, so only use apps that you know and trust. When you download software or apps, be sure to download from verified sources such as the App Store or Google Play. You can verify that an app is legitimate by reading the app’s reviews, checking the number of app downloads, and looking up the app’s developer.

    Verify links before clicking

    Watch out for malicious advertisements, otherwise known as malvertising. Malvertising is when cybercriminals use ads to spread malware or to trick users into providing sensitive information. When online shopping, only click on an ad or link from a reputable source, such as a retailer’s official social media profile. To be extra careful, use your browser to navigate to the store’s official website to shop instead.

    Verify attachments are safe before downloading them

    A common tactic among cybercriminals is to create phony email notifications from a retailer or postal service. These notifications often include a malicious attachment. The cybercriminals may claim that there was an update to your order or that your package has been delayed, but you’ll have to download the attachment to find out more. Don’t fall for this trick! Before you open the attachment, contact the retailer or postal service to verify that the notification is legitimate. You can also look up your order directly on the website where you made the purchase.

    This is a popular time that cybercriminals are looking for ways to scam you. Don’t let criminals ruin your holiday plans!


    No posts to display