So what can you do to make sure you stay safe this Christmas? The security experts in Radius Technologies have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to keep you as safe as possible when shopping for that ultimate online bargain!
A key way to securing yourself online is the use of passwords. If possible, try not to use the same password accross all of your online accounts. If a cyber criminal gains access to one account, they will try use the same password to gain access to all other accounts. Also, make sure your password is as long and complex as possible e.g. Chr!$Tm@$$8920. If needs be, you can always use a password manager.
A padlock in the search bar means that a website uses an encrypted or secure connection. If you are on a site that is looking for personal information but does not have the padlock, we advise you to refrain from giving information.
Criminals may try to trick you into handing over personal information by using Phishing emails. This email will look like it is from a real site and will prompt you to give your username, password etc. The criminal now has your data and can do as they wish!
Financial institutions will never send out emails looking for your Username & Password
4. Update, update, UPDATE!!
When new updates come out for your software, these are usually patching up holes that cyber-criminals already know about or will know about very soon! Try not putting off updating your software, it can be so easy to hit the “remind me later” option, but for your own safety update ASAP!
5. Turn off the Flash!
Flash files are still a very popular way of spreading malware. Fewer and fewer sites actually require the Adobe Flash nowadays!
6. Back up your files
Whether you are taking your laptop on Holidays or bringing it home to spend quality time with the family, make sure you back up your files! A lot of us have found ourselves in the situation where one of the children has decided to play a game on your laptop and all of a sudden…….POOF! Better safe than sorry!
7. Social Media
You might not think it but Social Media can be quite dangerous if we don’t have our wits about us! One of the main mistakes people make on social media (especially around Christmas time) is “checking in”. This craze of letting thousands of people know exactly where you are, who you are with and probably how long you will be gone for is a recipe for disaster. In reality you are letting the burglars know when the best time to break into your house would be!! Here are some tips to remember for the holidays on social media!
- Do not post travel plans!! – This may seem quite obvious but you would be surprised!
- Wait until you are home to post pictures
- Utilise privacy controls
- Be selective with updates – no need to post every detail of your day on social media
- Don’t have your location turned on
- Try stay offline – It is the holidays after all!
Links apply to emails, social media, blogs, etc. Anywhere you see a link, be cautious before you click on it. Malicious links can inject viruses into your computer, steal personal information and lots more. The best advise is to never click on a link without knowing where the exact source is. To tell if a link is safe, the following can help:
- Hover over the link to see the full URL. If this is a site that you know and trust, go ahead, if not, stay put!
- Link scanner – This will check whether the site is safe of not when you click on the link. If the site is not safe the module will stop you from travelling to the site. An example of this would be the Blended Threats module.
With these tips in mind, we hope you have a lovely Christmas and stay safe while getting those Christmas bargains!