Be Merry and Wary with your Cybersecurity
It’s not a surprise that the pandemic has pushed many of us to prefer shopping online from the comfort and safety of our homes. Instead of waiting in long lines, dealing with traffic, and having to beat other shoppers for the items you’re looking for, you can complete your holiday shopping right at your fingertips.
However, it is no surprise that cybersecurity threats increase across the board during the holidays, especially online. With more people shopping online and scrambling during last-minute shopping, it has been easier than ever.
But don’t let these hackers turn you into a Grinch! Below are some tips for staying on top of your game and ensuring you don’t fall victim to any scams this holiday season:
Don’t Fall for the Evil Twin
There was a running joke for a while that you could easily notice a malicious app, email, or website due to misspellings, poor-quality graphics, and incoherent messaging. However, hackers have become quite skilled at creating duplicate websites that, at a glance, anyone would assume are legitimate. Take the time to verify the website URL or do a quick independent search to ensure the version you’re accessing is authentic. It’s best practice to check the email address of the sender: Is the domain consistent with the “company”? Did that text notification include specific or vague information regarding your order?
When Ghosting is Good
Hostile emails and notifications will use language specifically to try and get you to react without thinking. Labeling the subjects and headers “urgent” or “critical” is typically the opposite. The more stressed and anxious you are to take action, the more you don’t get a chance to take a step back and analyze those messages. When in doubt, throw it out, and if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.
Be Your Bank Account’s BodyGuard
Some people consistently monitor their bank accounts and review the charges to ensure they are not fraudulent or duplicates. Other people…. do not. It is easy to rely on the services of our banks’ online security measures and notifications as a way of outsourcing the responsibility of monitoring our accounts ourselves. However, this is precisely what hackers are hoping and expecting. Most attacks get overlooked because of people who aren’t consistent with checking their accounts and realize the charges too late, or the charges are for small enough amounts that fall under the radar. Whatever the case, keep your money on our shopping list, not your hacker’s. Don’t take your cybersecurity for granted!
Treat Your Special Deliveries Extra Special
Chances are, if you are doing your holiday shopping online, you find yourself opening your front door to a package or two and completely forgetting what is inside. Thankfully, many shopping sites and delivery services provide notifications and updates to give you the heads up when things are on their way or delivered. However, this is another way for hackers to prey on their victims. Our excitement and curiosity get the best of us. Instead, go directly to the vendor’s website to investigate your order once you get a notification.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Stay Safe
Luckily, No-IP has a partnership with IPVanish that includes an exclusive two-year plan, as well as a 50% off coupon on our Rapid SSL Wildcard DV Certificate for a limited time. We also have published various blogs about how to proactively protect your cybersecurity.
The holidays are a time to focus on the ones we love. Falling prey to hackers is no one’s idea of a good time. It’s sad to think that hackers take advantage of people during this time of year. However, as long as you take a moment to think critically about what you click on and what passes through your inbox, you are already less of a target.