Holiday Cybersecurity Safety

The holiday season is in full swing, but are you ready for the rush? From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans took advantage of the holiday weekend deals, and 59% of all consumers this season are planning to shop online! We get it, shopping online can be easier, faster, and more convenient, but how do you make sure your information is secure? Whether personal information, or your businesses’ data, we’ve gathered some tactics to educate you on how to best protect your information this holiday season.

5 Ways To Ensure Your Information Is Secure This Holiday Season:

1. Secure Your Computer

The key to protecting your information is starting with a secure foundation. Just as you would inspect your car prior to hitting the road, you should apply the same to your computer prior to hitting the internet. Confirm that your computer is running the latest version of its operating software. Out-of-date software is an easy way to put you at risk. Also, don’t even consider going online without running reliable anti-virus and anti-malware protection software that gets updated at least once a day. Another great tip? If you have children, consider using two devices. Often, children are more curious with technology and may click or download software unintentionally, that can compromise your device. Resort to using a separate device when shopping online or accessing other personal information.

2. Secure Your Mobile Device

According to the National Retail Federation, 64% of consumers are planning to use their smartphone to research or make purchases this holiday season. It’s critical to ensure that your mobile device is just as secure as your computer. The first step is making sure your software operating system is up to date. Update your passwords, and be smart. Don’t use the same password for every website or app. Additionally, be aware of suspicious deals or links that are sent via text message, especially if they are sent by unrecognized phone numbers. Following these links may infect your device. In case your device does get infected, regularly back up your information. If your device is compromised, the hacker may prevent you from removing any photos, files, or information from your device.

3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Many people are unaware of the risks associated with using public wi-fi, but during the peak holiday season, this tactic is extremely important. While you may think you’re safe connecting to a public wi-fi connection in your local coffee shop, there are a number of ways people can access information on your phone or computer through this Wi-Fi hot spot.

“There’s a lot of data that’s available for someone who wants to eavesdrop on others in a scenario like this, it’s a wide open field.”

Jim Raub – Former CISO & VP of Infrastructure

While your personal safety always takes top priority, don’t forget that your employees can be your biggest risk in ensuring that your business information is safe. The number of people using their work devices to get their shopping done is growing, and it can be common for employees to use their corporate email address to sign up for special deals and rewards. Mitigate this risk for your business by educating your employees on these tactics and how they can impact the safety of your enterprise’s data. All it takes is for one employee to fall for that phishing email scam, and your entire network could be hit with a ransomware outbreak.

Our token advice? Don’t take all the responsibility yourself, share the risk with someone else. Enlist industry experts that stay on top of the most common security trends so you don’t have to, and partner with someone that can help secure your system and educate your team. Take the next step to ensure your business’s information is secure. We promise it will pay off for you and your employees in the end.

We wish all the best in your holiday shopping, and remember stay safe, secure, and be aware. Cheers!

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