Online Scams Don't Take Holidays: Be Merry and Be Smart

hand reaching out of computer screen
Written by gbernard on December 3, 2020

Geoff Bernard | Senior Systems Analyst

The holiday season is in full swing not only for shopping, but for cyber-criminals too. We’ve begun the busiest online shopping season, and the bad guys are planning to get rich with your money. So, here are this year's Top 10 Holiday Cybersecurity Alert Tips. 

  1. Keep all devices up to date with basic security measures to lessen your chance of becoming a victim.
  2. Only connect to known Wi-Fi networks; beware of network names that have typos or extra characters. 
  3. Use strong, unique passwords on all accounts. This is a good time to update passwords! (And save them with a password manager: here at Brightworth we use Keeper)
  4. Be safe on all social media; don't overshare, and take the time to review your privacy settings on the platforms you use. 
  5. Keep an eye on your bank accounts and monitor your credit report regularly.
  6. Be careful with messages regarding shipping changes. Always use official channels to stay updated. Go direct to the seller’s website and look for an orders section instead of clicking links in email.
  7. Watch out for holiday greeting cards that may not be the sender you think. Don't open these unless you're certain you can trust who they came from. Don’t open attachments unless you are 100% sure of the source. Confirm with the sender if you are not expecting attachments.
  8. Keep devices in view (or know where they are) throughout the course of holiday travel. Enable two-factor authentication on all available sites: banking, Gmail, Hotmail, Amazon, etc.)
  9. Pay close attention to the websites you visit and shop on. It's safest to only use those you trust. 
  10. Be wary of ads, giveaways, and contests that seem too good to be true. These run rampant during the holiday season! 

By staying alert and taking some basic precautions, you won’t be bringing an online criminal holiday cheer.