Christmas is the time to celebrate with family and friends. But it’s also prime time for cybercriminals.
You need to be vigilant, especially at this time of year. Cybercriminals understand that people ‘in a hurry’ behave more rashly and take fewer precautions.
This makes these different types of cyberattacks more effective.
Have a cyber secure Holidays by following these advices:
1. DO NOT CLICK On Suspicious Links
Cybercriminals are always looking to take advantage of situations and timing is key.
The festive period will be hijacked as an opportunity to spread malware and steal information via large scale phishing and spam emails.
Common campaigns may masquerade as known contacts, courier services, payroll providers, well known charities and other high-profile organizations.
The emails usually present some accurate/relatable information to the sender to appear trustworthy and entice you to click on a malicious link.
Is that Christmas e-card hiding something? Be extra vigilant, disaster is only one wrong click away.
Malicious links are sent by scammers who look more real than the original ones. As these links appear to lead to legitimate and well-known sites like eBay, many online users fall victim.
The safest way of not getting tricked by these would be NOT to open them if provided via social media sites, messages or emails from unknown sources.
2. Social Engineering
A large chunk of cybercrime applies the technique of social engineering. Essentially, it deceives victims into giving away personal information which is then used to commit a cybercrime against them.
Phishing is a classic example.
The impact on the privacy of your devices, your sensitive information and even your personal security plays as a key disadvantage of social networking.
There is an abundance of fake accounts, trolls and fraudsters online, who seek to obtain and collect your personal information for possible criminal activity.
Be strict with your privacy settings and be vigilant of the things you post. Avoid accidentally sharing information that could hint at:
- Login Details – email addresses, usernames and passwords
- Potential answers to security questions
- Personal details
- Banking details
Picture Source how-to-avoid-spear-phishing-attack.png (1000×820) (varonis.com)
3. Always Use Secured Websites
Before typing your sensitive information online, check to make sure if the website you just visited is a secure site.
Secure sites have a closed padlock in the status bar, and its URL starts with HTTPS, which means:
· Communication is encrypted.
· SSL verifies authenticity.
4. Avoid using freely available public Wi-Fi networks
When you’re out and about doing your Christmas shopping or socializing with friends and family, it will be tempting to make use of freely available public Wi-Fi networks.
You should be mindful of using such methods of internet access when carrying out financial activities such as online banking, making purchases using credit/debit cards or accessing sensitive accounts or websites.
While not all public Wi-Fi connections are dangerous, you can never be confident that your information is secure when using them.
To stay safe, you should always use a VPN which can protect your information, and simply stick to using your mobile data.
You should be mindful of the websites that you are using, especially when shopping online, as fraudulent sites can be easily disguised as authentic retailers.
These websites often boast unbelievable deals that are designed to catch your eye and catch you out. So remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
5. Always Use Strong Passwords
This tip is one of the most obvious ones, but people do not intend to use it generally.
· Always try to avoid easy-to-crack passwords by including a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters in your password.
· Avoid using the most common passwords like your name or 123456.
· Most importantly, don't use the same password for multiple sites.
Picture Source 12 Tips for a Cyber Safe Christmas - METCLOUD %
6. Do Not Provide Your Details to Every Website You Visit
Online stores provide an option for the customers to check out as a one-time customer.
If you are not shopping regularly from the site, avoid filling unnecessary information, just in case, to be safe.
7. Check Your Bank Statements Regularly
Most of the banks now allow for setting up email notifications of any credit card transaction.
If you see any charges that are unusual, they have to get reported, and suitable actions should be taken that are needed to get a prompt refund.
Happy holidays from the Cyber Security Department!