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10 Cyber Smart Tips for the 2021 Holiday Season

Sakeef Salman

10 Cyber Smart Tips for the 2021 Holiday Season

Another holiday season approaches, and with COVID-19 still looming large, many shoppers will continue to stick to online shopping to stay safe and avoid crowds. However, online shopping presents all-too-familiar security risks that threaten to ruin what should be a joyful time of the year. Here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself this holiday season:

  1. Keep all devices and their software up to date.
  2. Only connect to known Wi-Fi networks or use a VPN when connecting to unknown networks.
  3. Use strong, unique passwords on all accounts, preferably a passphrase of three unrelated words.
  4. Keep an eye on your bank accounts and monitor your credit report regularly for unusual activity.
  5. Watch out for holiday greeting cards and note the address as that may not be the sender you think.
  6. Pay close attention to the websites you visit and shop on to ensure the URL or address begins with HTTPS. If HTTPS is not present, any information you enter on that website could be compromised.
  7. Be wary of ads, giveaways, and contests that seem too good to be true.
  8. Choose safe payment methods (ex. verified 3rd Party Services such as PayPal).
  9. Ignore suspicious emails and be cautious of what you click on, even if the link or attachment is from someone you know. Ask yourself, “Was I expecting this?”.
  10. Report shopping fraud immediately to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).