November 18, 2022
By Welmar Benedicto
Holidays are a time of celebration, but they can also be a time that online scammers, hackers, identity thieves, and other online crooks look to exploit. That's why it's so important to keep the season merry, while also managing your risk. This means making sure you take the right steps to keep your accounts secure and do all you can to avoid becoming a victim of these phishing scams. This article will help you how to manage risk and prevent online scams that may affect you during the holidays.
Secure Your Online Accounts with Strong Passwords
The best way to protect yourself from online scams is by using strong passwords. The longer your password is and the more random characters it has, the harder it will be for hackers to guess it and access your accounts. Strong passwords should include at least 8 characters with upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don't use the same password across multiple accounts; if one is compromised, all will be compromised.
Keep Your Firewall Running
Your firewall is there to protect you from outside threats, and it needs to be on at all times. If you turn it off or forget to turn it back on after a vacation, you could leave your computer vulnerable to viruses and malware that could destroy all your data or even steal personal information like your credit card number. The same goes for anti-virus software; always make sure it’s up-to-date and active so that nothing gets through without being detected by the program first.
Avoid Online Shopping on Public Wi-Fi
When shopping online, especially during the holidays, it's important to keep your personal information secure. To do this, avoid using public Wi-Fi to shop on your favorite sites. You never know who might be watching your activity or what kind of information they could steal from you. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a Virtual Private Network to encrypt the traffic between your device and the internet. This will protect any personal information from being intercepted by hackers or other prying eyes. This will help prevent anyone from accessing your information if they were to hack into the network.
Get Security Updates for Software and Devices Regularly
It's important to keep your computer software up-to-date, especially when it comes to security. Hackers are constantly creating new ways to get into your machine, so it's important that you have the latest protection available. Many times, when a new patch is released, it contains fixes for things that were discovered after the previous patch was created. This makes it critical that you update as soon as possible. It's important that you install them immediately so that hackers can't take advantage of those holes in your system.
Stay Vigilant About Social Media Activity
Never open any links that you receive on any social media platforms without first verifying that they're safe by hovering over them with your cursor. Don't click on any links or ads that appear in unexpected places like Google search results or email inboxes—these might be phishing scams designed to steal personal information or infect your computer with viruses. Make sure you've set all your accounts to private, and only share personal information with people you know and trust.
The holidays are a perfect time to take online risks and scams seriously. You may not be able to control how many people reach out to you or how much time off you need to take over the holidays, but you can always control your online security. So, if you're planning on shopping online this season, just keep a few things in mind. Think before you click and stay safe.
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