It’s Holiday Season for the bad guys too! But not the way you might think. They go into scam-overdrive mode. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest online shopping days and the bad guys are planning to get rich with your money. So, here are this year’s Top 10 Holiday Cybersecurity Alert Tips:
- Keep all devices up to date with good security tools to lessen your chance of becoming the victim. Practice good IT hygiene.
- Only connect to known Wi-Fi networks; beware of network names that have typos or extra characters.
- Use strong, unique passwords on all accounts. This is a good time to update passwords!
- Be safe on all social media; don’t overshare and take the time to review your privacy settings on the platforms you use.
- Keep an eye on your bank accounts and monitor your credit report regularly.
- Be careful with messages regarding shipping changes. Always use official channels to stay updated.
- Watch out for holiday greeting cards that may not be the sender you think! Don’t open these unless you’re certain you can trust who they came from.
- Keep devices in view (or know where they are) throughout the course of all holiday travel.
- Pay close attention to the websites you visit and shop on. It’s safest to only use those you trust.
- Be wary of ads, giveaways, and contests that seem too good to be true. These run rampant during the holiday season!
When you change your account passwords it’s not good enough to make a small change to a password you have used before. As a result of decades of successfully hacking password databases you have to assume any password you have used over time is for sale on the dark web. On top of that brute-force algorithms can perform character substitutions as easily as you can. If your password has been “ImS@f32019” and you change it by making it “ImS@f32020”, that is a microsecond of processing time to figure out if the first password is known. When you change your passwords you need to completely abandon any convention you have used before, and use a strong unique password for each account.
Medicine Bow Technologies wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!