We hope your holidays will be filled with family, friends, merry-making, and good cheer. One way to ensure a happy holiday season is to stay safe while spending time online. Here are a few tips that may help.
1. When using public Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee shop, or airport, be selective about the sites you visit, even if the Wi-Fi is password protected. One Internet security provider explained:1 “Wi-Fi uses radio waves. The openness of these signals at public hotspots, combined with the right eavesdropping software, can allow others to take information without your knowledge – much like someone overhearing a private conversation in a crowded restaurant.”
Don’t visit any websites that require a login (banks, social media, payment software, etc.) and don’t make purchases online using public Wi-Fi.
2. Look out for fake shopping apps. A company that builds apps for various brands told The New York Times, “…this was the first time it had seen so many counterfeit iPhone apps emerge in a short period of time.” Some of the apps are nuisances that trigger pop-up ads, but others may steal personal information or lock-up the device until a ransom is paid.2
3. Beware of phishing schemes. These come in all shapes and sizes. According to CSO, consumers should watch out for fake purchase invoices and fake shipping status notifications with viruses attached (don’t click on any links), email ads offering bargains, and fake surveys that offer a reward for completing them and ask for personal information.3
We hope your holiday season will be memorable for all the right reasons!