9 Ways to Stay Safe Online During the Holidays

Author: Craig Pollack Date: Dec 24, 2018 Topics: Cybersecurity

With the holiday season fast upon us, it's the time of year for peace on earth and goodwill toward all.  Unfortunately, there are way too many who'll take advantage of this time of year and look for ways to scam, hack, or steal your information. As our world has become increasingly digital and connected, it's becoming clearer and clearer that we need to take a more proactive approach to securing our digital information.  

To this end, we've put together a quick list of 9 things you should be doing to strengthen your individual cybersecurity posture.  And there's no better time to take a look at this and stay in front of the cyber criminals than before it happens. 

So, in no particular order, here you go...

1. Keep your systems up-to-date

  • anti-virus, anti-spam, firewalls, OS patches, etc.

2. Don't click on links in emails

  • hover over the link and make sure the address is real and will take you where you think you're going 

3. Never enter information into a website if it's NOT secure

  • look for the "https" or the lock symbol in your browser 

4. Browse in "incognito" or "private browsing" mode

5. Don't leave your data behind

  • remember to logout when you use a shared computer (ie: at a business center)
  • syncing programs leave data all over the place (dropbox, box, onedrive, google drive, etc.)

6. Don't login to public networks without a VPN

  • use something like Cisco Umbrella or Viper

7. Lock your phone

  • do not use your phone without a timeout that locks it.  The shorter the time period, the better.

8. Cover your webcam

  • this is an easy one.  Even a piece of tape over the camera is better than nothing.

9. Manage your passwords

  • Don’t use simple passwords
  • Don’t use the same password across accounts
  • Use a password management system
  • Don’t use Facebook to login to other website
    • (remember the recent Facebook breach?)
  • Setup dual-factor authentication

 Bottom Line

As a trusted Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) for businesses throughout the greater Los Angeles area, we think it’s important for every individual staff member to get in front of this and be cyber aware.

Here's wishing you and yours a safe and sane cyber-holiday season.

If you’d like to share your thoughts or have questions, be sure to do so in the comments section below or feel free to send me an email to discuss this in more detail.

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Craig Pollack

Craig Pollack

Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology as efficiently and effectively as possible. With over 25 years of experience building the preeminent IT Service Provider in the Southern California area, Craig is one of the area’s leading authorities on how small to mid-sized businesses can best secure and leverage their technology to achieve their business objectives.