Do Cyberattacks Increase Over the Holidays?

Cybercriminals don’t take a break for the holidays. Especially during this season of online shopping, cyberattacks peak. People are busy buying gifts and may not be as vigilant about security. Also, many businesses close down for the holidays, leaving their systems more vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourself.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of holiday cybercrime.

  1. Be aware of phishing scams. Cybercriminals will often send out fake emails or texts that look like they’re from a legitimate company, trying to get you to click on a link or download an attachment. Don’t fall for it – only click on links and download attachments from sources that you trust.
  1. Keep your software up to date. Out-of-date software can be full of security holes that hackers can exploit. Make sure you have the latest updates for your operating system and all the apps on your devices.
  1. Use strong passwords. Weak and easily guessed passwords are one of the easiest ways for hackers to get into your accounts. Use a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords, and don’t use the same password for all of your accounts.
  1. Be careful what you click on. Don’t click on links or attachments from people you don’t know, even if they look legitimate. And be cautious about clicking on ads, even if they’re on trusted websites – cybercriminals can create fake ads that contain malicious code.
  1. Watch out for fake Wi-Fi networks. When you’re out and about during the holidays, it’s easy to connect to public Wi-Fi without thinking twice about it. But cybercriminals can set up fake Wi-Fi networks that look legitimate, and if you connect to one of these, they can intercept the data you’re sending and receiving. Only connect to Wi-Fi networks that you know are safe.
  1. Keep your personal information private. Be careful about what personal information you share online, especially on social media. Hackers can use this information to steal your identity or commit other crimes.
  1. Use a VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts the data you’re sending and receiving, making it much harder for hackers to intercept it. If you’re using public Wi-Fi, be sure to connect to a VPN before doing anything else.
  1. Use a reputable cybersecurity service. Managed cybersecurity services can help you protect your data and devices from cyberattacks, even if you’re not a tech expert. A good service will provide 24/7 monitoring and support, as well as regular security updates and backups.

Taking these steps will help you protect yourself from holiday cybercrime. But even if you’re careful, there’s always a chance that you could be a victim. If you think you’ve been hacked, change your passwords immediately and contact your bank or credit card company. And be sure to report the incident to the authorities.

With a little extra vigilance, you can enjoy a stress-free holiday season and take comfort in knowing that your data is safe.

Chris Turn