Better Security this Holiday SeasonSubmitted by Prosperity Advisory Group on November 26th, 2018
by Scott Sirois
The official start of the holiday shopping season starts today, Black Friday, goes virtual on Cyber Monday and extends through New Year's Day. It is the best of times ... and it is the worst of times.
It is the best of times if you're looking for a great deal on just about anything. The sales, and the crowds, are staggering. If you want it, you can find it on sale somewhere. And you can decide whether to battle crowds and lines and shop the traditional method of physically going from store to store or you can shop from the comfort of your home.
And while it is the best of times, it can also be the worst of times. Online shopping continues to grow in popularity and practice. And even more so during the holiday season.
Here are the Holiday Cyberattacks statistics from 2017:
- Cybercriminals launched more than 113 million malware attacks on Cyber Monday last year, a 4.4x increase over the yearly average
- Malware attacks jumped 27 percent on Black Friday
- Ransomware attacks spiked 127 percent on Cyber Monday
The simple reality is that these numbers will only grow this year. Cyber criminals count on the hectic-pace and distraction of the holiday season.
Our encouragement to you this holiday season ...
- Slow down and enjoy the season and sentiment
- Cherish time with loved-ones
- Enjoy the holiday music
- Go build a snowman (if your location supports such an activity)
Be mindful and alert while online ... and remember these practices to remain secure while online:
- Think before you click, open or download (the cyber criminals want you to click first)
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Inspect your emails before reacting or responding
- Don't be tempted by advertisements on social media or emails offering fantastic deals
- Be wary of pop-ups
- Don't use promotional links in emails
- Watch out for fake delivery notification emails and/or text messages.
- Don't shop on public WiFi networks
- Make sure websites you shop on are secure
- Before you consider purchasing from a new website, be sure to Google the name of the business + reviews to see what others are saying and verify the website is legitimate. The holidays are the time to experiment with new shopping websites and apps.
- Ensure the software on your devices is kept up-to-date
- Make sure your passwords are strong
Let this be your motto this holiday season ... "Don't let an impulse decision become the gift that keeps on taking!"
Wishing you and yours a safe, secure and blessed holiday season.