The holiday season is here and the bad guys out there are ready. They are armed with a multitude of tricks up their sleeves. Everyone needs to be aware and be cautious of hackers and malicious activity particularly during the next two months. To help you be better prepared, we have put together a survival guide for the holiday season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest online shopping days of the year, and hackers go into overdrive mode. Here’s what you should look out for:
Holiday Shopping Security Reminders
- Watch out for alerts via email or text that you have received a package, and personal information is needed. Do not respond. Ask yourself, “Was I expecting this package?” “Is this the website I ordered from?” If not, don’t click on any links or respond to any emails and delete the suspicious text or email.
- Make sure the site you visit is the real one. There are thousands of fake sites that look just like the real thing. Don’t click on links in emails with special offers; instead, search for the website yourself. This way, you will be protected from malicious activity.
- Do not download mobile apps promising significant shopping savings. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Before donating to any charity or cause, do your research to ensure the campaign is valid.
- Only use credit cards online, never debit cards. If someone does get your credit card number and makes a purchase online, chances are good you won’t be held liable if you report it promptly.
- Be wary of online discount coupons. These coupons may direct you to a fake survey site, allowing scammers to collect data and steal your identity. Again, ask yourself, “Is this discount too good to be true?” If it is, bite the bullet and pay full price.
- When you receive an email asking you to log in to an account or online service that you use, log in to your account through your browser–not through links in the email. This way, you can ensure you’re logging into the real website and not a phony look-alike.
The holiday season is an opportune time for hacking and vicious activity. If you stay vigilant and aware of the “bad guys,” you will significantly lower your chances of being a scammers next victim. Safe holidays from all of us at ProTech!
Thanks to KnowBe4 for the resources used to write this blog.