November 25, 2014 by Eric Cates
Part Two in our Holiday Security Series (Part One Here)
We are entering the season for giving and with that comes holiday shopping. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and with this popularity attracts cyber criminals looking to capitalize off your purchases and giving spirit. But don’t give in to the scams, and maintain security best practices to ensure your security.
As millions of people gather for the holiday rush, many are unprepared to the not so obvious threats of holiday scams. Laptops, iPads, mobile devices and many other smart devices are now becoming the source of online shopping for millions around the world. What many users are not aware of are the immense amount of tools and strategies these holiday thieves use to steal from you with very sophisticated scams delivered through texts, emails, phone calls, fake websites and more.
In our first “Black Friday” blog we listed some threats and gave you important security tips to include secure web browsing, avoiding phishing scams and more. In this blog I want to provide additional suggestions, specifically around monitoring your financial accounts and mobile security:
Avoid malicious apps-
Make sure to download all applications directly from the app store, and be cautious of what apps you are downloading. Many are not secure. If you have a workplace mobile device, do not download apps on that device that are not company approved.
Be aware of text messages sent to your smartphone. This holiday season make sure you know who is sending you a text message. These text messages will come from a supposed “trusted source (such as your bank) and will ask for your account number and personal information to gain access. Immediately delete the message without opening it. Then call your bank at their trusted number to inquire about the message. Check out our Security Short Video on SMiShing, and spread the word about this attack to help others stay protected.
Continuously monitor your bank account-
Set up spending alerts, and regularly check your account to ensure there are not any unauthorized purchases.
Change your password settings now as we enter the holidays and change them again directly after-
Now is the time to create new passwords and security questions, and you need to change the security settings again following the holidays. Many times when organizations’ customer financial information is exposed, they recommend changing all passwords and security answers. You should just do this best practice anyway.
Keep your receipts, and if you share an account, have the other individual also save receipts-
It’s easy to overlook unauthorized charges when you are buying gifts at multiple stores, multiple values, especially if you share an account with another individual. Be sure you keep your receipts so that you notice even the slightest compromise to your account.
In conclusion, be ready this holiday season and don’t let cyber criminals get the upper hand on your information. Check out this infographic that provides a great visual for best practices:
[Via: IdentityHawk.com identity theft] Source: http://www.identityhawk.com/cyber-monday-black-friday-shopping-identity-theft-infographic