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Tis the season… for holiday cybercrime. Four tips to stay safe

Tis the season… for holiday cybercrime. Four tips to stay safe

November 09, 2022

The holidays are right around the corner, and you’ve likely got a long to-do list to prepare such as planning meals, booking travel, and picking out gifts.

One holiday prep tip that often goes by the wayside but is most important this time of year is to develop a more robust cyberattack strategy; according to the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, cybercrimes increase yearly during holidays. To avoid becoming a victim, consider these tips to strengthen your security before spending time in the online marketplace.

Keep your technology updated. Ensure you have downloaded the latest security software on all your electronic devices. Adjusting your settings to allow this to happen automatically is a great way to ensure it happens regularly.

Recognize common attacks. Phishing attacks occur when criminals trick you into giving away sensitive information or downloading malicious files, usually through emails or texts. Never open emails or click on links from senders you don’t recognize. If an offer is too good to be true, it likely is.

Use Secure Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is the perfect opportunity for hackers to gain the information they want, like your email, bank log-in, or credit card details. Never use it to perform these sorts of activities or a VPN online. Also, be sure you’re shopping on secure websites that use SSL protection; look for the “HTTPS” in the URL.

Pay securely. Consider paying with a credit card over a debit card. Credit card companies provide protection when it comes to fraud without it hitting your bank account. Only use reputable payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay if using third-party payment services.

It’s always a good idea to regularly back up all your electronic files — whether as a hard copy, in the cloud, or, better yet, both — so if your computer gets hacked, you won’t lose anything essential. Additionally, be mindful of what you share through social media during this time to ensure criminals don’t get private information.

We’re always looking for ways to protect your financial well-being. Call us if you’d like to know more about how we’re working hard to keep your financial data safe. Happy holiday planning and celebrating!