‘Tis the Season for Cybercriminals: How to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity for the Holidays

The holiday season is a time to enjoy spending time with family, exchanging gifts – and hackers looking to take advantage of vulnerable networks. During the holidays, consumer spending increases significantly as people shop for gifts online, making it an ideal time for cybercriminals to target unsuspecting victims. To ensure your personal information is safe and secure during this busy season, there are several steps you can take to strengthen your cybersecurity.

Software Updates

First and foremost, make sure all of your devices are up-to-date with the latest software updates. Software vulnerabilities can be exploited by bad actors if they have access to outdated versions; therefore, updating regularly will help protect against potential malicious activity. Additionally, whenever possible use two-factor authentication when accessing accounts. This will help to add an extra layer of protection against hackers making attempts to gain access to your accounts.

Use a VPN

Another important tip for strengthening cybersecurity during the holidays is utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN provides an encrypted connection between your device and the internet, meaning any data you transmit online will be protected from prying eyes. It also masks your IP address, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to identify you or your location. Without a VPN the probability of your personal information being shared is significantly higher.

Look For Secure Websites

When shopping online this holiday season, make sure that websites are secure by looking for the ‘https://’ in the URL instead of the usual ‘http://’. Also check for the lock symbol next to the URL bar in your browser – if it’s not there, do not proceed with entering any sensitive information on the website. The use of public Wi-Fi should also be avoided as it increases your chances of being hacked. It’s best to stick with a private, secure connection whenever possible.

Avoid Cyber Attacks

In addition to taking the precautions mentioned above, it is important to remain vigilant against phishing attempts and other malicious activities that cybercriminals may use to gain access to your personal information. Be sure to take note of suspicious activity such as emails from unknown sources or strange links sent through social media messages. If you don’t recognize the sender it’s best to just delete!

Monitor Your Accounts

Finally, take a few moments to review your banking and credit card statements regularly during this time of year. While banks and financial institutions are aware of the increased risks during the holidays, double checking for yourself can help detect any suspicious activity that could indicate an attempted breach; if you do notice something abnormal or out-of-the ordinary, contact your financial institution immediately.

Consult A Professional

If at any time during the holidays you find yourself needing additional help with your cybersecurity, consult a professional. IT security professionals can assist in providing guidance and advice on best practices that will ensure your information is safe and secure.

Strengthening cybersecurity using these simple tips during the holidays is essential in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks that could lead to identity theft or data breaches. By taking a few minor precautions you will lower the risk of a security breach and will help keep your personal information safe so you can enjoy a happy and secure holiday season!