Thanksgiving is usually a good opportunity to catch up with family and friends. This year, consider taking a moment to help anyone who needs it brush up on their cybersecurity practices. The busy holiday shopping season, which really kicks into gear the day after Thanksgiving, is a big time of the year for cybercriminals looking to scam consumers and steal their personal information, so your guidance will be extra helpful in this context. We’ve got a few ideas for what to talk about:
Verify each website’s security
Look for a padlock in the address bar of your browser, indicating a secure HTTPS connection. A green string of text – known as extended validation – shows an additional layer of security, namely the verified identity of the legal entity controlling the site. Never shop or pay for anything on a site without HTTPS.
Avoid public Wi-Fi or use a VPN
Public Wi-Fi is almost always slower and less safe than relying on mobile data, if you have a high-speed plan. If you must use it, however, consider doing so over a virtual private network (VPN). Such a solution will encrypt your connection so that prying eyes can’t see what you’re doing while on the network.
Route your purchases throughout a payment service
There’s no shortage of free ways to pay online, with e-commerce mainstays like PayPal now joined by newer options such as Apple Pay. These networks offer extra security for your payments; for example, Apple Pay doesn’t even show the merchant your actual payment card number. Consider using them for your holiday shopping instead of manually entering your card or bank account information.
Set up multi-factor authentication for your accounts
Most people recycle their passwords, which is the path of least resistance but one that’s also quite risky since a successful guess could compromise multiple accounts. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an essential defense against this possibility, since it requires any login attempt to supply both the right login credentials and a second factor like a code sent to a separate device.
Use a password generator
In addition to 2FA, use a password generator, either the one built into your operating system or browser or an app from a veritable third-party. Doing so will mean you only have to remember one master password to unlock a vault of strong, unique passwords that can be populated into any form for convenient login.
Total Defense has you covered this holiday season and beyond with solutions like Ultimate Internet Security – check out the product page for a deeper look today.