Avoid Scams this Holiday Season
With the Holiday Season upon us most of us will be shopping for gifts. I would like to make a few recommendations to avoid Cybersecurity Scams this Holiday Season.
- Do not use Public Wi-Fi. I know that it may seem easy to use the Wi-Fi provided at a public location, but public Wi-Fi networks may not be secure. Avoid using public Wi-Fi during your purchasing this Holiday Season even if you use a VPN. Play it Safe!
- Many Non-Profit organizations request donations via email during the Holiday Season. It is recommended that you verify the authenticity of the email prior to giving any credit card information. Unfortunately, there are many cyber-scammers that pose as legitimate Non-Profit organizations, and these scammers use “Spoofing” technology to make it look as if the email request for donation is coming from a real charity. Once again, do your best to verify that the email is legitimate. You can even go to a site like Charity Navigator https://www.charitynavigator.org/ or Charity Watch https://www.charitywatch.org/ so you can get more information about the charity.
- Many of us will shop online for our gifts this year. Always make sure that you are shopping on a reputable site and most importantly, protect your personal information to include your social security number, credit card numbers and personal identification information. Make sure you lock your devices, always use strong passwords and limit how much information you share about your personal plans this Holiday Season.
- Don’t Fall for “Clickbait” in unsolicited email or Pop-Ups while you are searching the web. Rather than clicking on a link to an unsolicited email or Pop-Up, go to your web browser and type in the web address of the company that is offering this so-called Great Deal. Also be aware of “Confirmation” emails. Be aware of “Phishy” confirmation email for an order you did not place, ignore and delete it.
- Be aware that Cybercriminals can also hack into your cell phone. Some of the most common methods that Cybercriminals use are social media, messaging, gaming and email. The best and most effective way to protect yourself is by being aware of the most prevalent threats that are being made by the cybercriminals and how you can avoid them. You may also want to install a VPN – Virtual Private Network on your cell phone. This can help minimize your exposure to cybercriminals. The VPN will disguise your true IP address by switching it with an IP address on their secure server.
Following these Cybersecurity Safeguards can help you avoid scams this Holiday Season. Season’s Greetings from all of us at ESEI.