Cybersecurity Tips This Holiday Season

The holidays are here, but so are holiday scams and the headaches that come with them. Holidays are meant to be a time of fun, joy, family time, and celebration, but the constant attempts of scammers trying to steal your money can make it challenging to enjoy. Here are some basic cybersecurity tips that can help ease some of the holiday stress this year.

  1. Watch out for social media scams. Hackers like to use Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms to encourage you to click on links to sites which can result in downloading malware into your computer. If you are not sure about the link or the page promoting it, do not click on the link
  2. Use a credit card instead of a debit card for your purchases, making donations online, and online shopping. Most major credit card companies provide “zero liability” policies, so you don’t have to pay for fraudulent transactions. We also recommend you monitor your statements regularly to ensure there are no unapproved transactions on your account.
  3. Avoid pop-ups, emails with links, and ads. These are very prevalent during the holidays so please be on guard when you see them. Clicking on them can potentially take you to a scam site and cause malware to be downloaded to your device. When shopping online, it is best to shop at a trusted retailer or directly from the store’s website for a more secure experience.
  4. Connect to known Wi-Fi networks. One way to avoid connecting to a dangerous networks is to look for typos or extra characters in their names. Try to avoid public Wi-Fi whenever possible as it can raise the potential for your phone to be exposed to scammers. It is best for everyone to use a private network or their mobile phone’s carrier network for better safety.
  5. Create strong unique passwords for your accounts. With so many data breaches nowadays, it is easy for your password to be breached and if you are accustomed to using the same passwords, you risk exposing your accounts. Use passwords that do not contain common words such as your name or date of birth for example.
  6. Monitor your credit no matter how careful you are. There is still a chance someone may gain access to your credit card numbers or personal accounts and may even open a loan in your name. Staying on track of your credit report ensures that you catch any potential behaviors that are not yours and ensures you are notified right away whenever a new account is opened in your name.

We hope you find these tips useful during this holiday season. Always remember, if you are not sure about something being true or if the deal sounds too good to be true, chances are that it’s a scam and it’s best to fully avoid clicking on any email, link, or holiday offers online. Have a happy Holiday season from Partners!

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