Cybersecurity Safety Tips for Your New Tech Toys

The winter holiday season is a bonanza for the tech industry. Every firm from Apple to Nintendo sees its earnings skyrocket during the months of November and December, when millions of smartphones, tablets, game consoles, PCs and more fly off the shelves. A Consumer Technology Association survey found that more than two-thirds of American adults planned to buy at least one device, with an average spend of $478.

Receiving tech-related gifts for the holidays is exciting, but there’s a downside: You have to be careful to ensure each gadget has the right security protections, as it could be at risk in today’s rapidly evolving threat environment. Here’s what to take to heart before ripping off the wrapping paper and recording your unboxing videos:

Cybersecurity Safety Tips for Your New Tech Toys

Receiving tech-related gifts for the holidays is exciting, but there’s a downside: You have to be careful to ensure each gadget has the right security protections

Create strong passwords and set up 2FA on new and existing accounts

New devices mean new accounts, or at the very least remembering the logins to old ones – which might not be difficult, since there’s a good chance they’re all the same. As convenient as simple passwords might seem, they’re big liabilities, being eminently guessable. Use a password generator or manager to stay safe. Even better, set up a two-factor authentication (2FA) so that your username and password aren’t enough for someone to break into your account. The second factor is usually a unique code sent to a phone number,email address or separate device.

Install security software and keep everything up to date

Cybersecurity threats are always evolving. New attacks like fileless malware regularly emerge, while older ones such as ransomware resurface with added functionality. In this context, multi-layered defense is not optional, and it starts with software like Total  Defense Ultimate Internet Security. This suite provides multi-device protection from malware along with mechanisms for simplifying software updates. Outdated applications are a leading cause of security exploits and should be updated or– if no longer supported and receiving patches – removed and replaced.

Limit what your devices know about you

If you have a new laptop or desktop, think about covering up its webcam to prevent possible spying via PC malware. On Windows 10, consider changing the default privacy settings to disable your advertising ID and turn off location services.Using a local account (on Windows) or an email-based one (for other apps and services) is also preferable to signing up via a social account, if you’re concerned about privacy. For mobile devices, you might want to deny microphone access unless absolutely necessary, since some applications have collected audio data for use in ad targeting.

Only use secure network and site connections

Not all internet connections are created equal. Avoid public Wi-Fi or, if you cannot, use it in tandem with a virtual private network (VPN) to shield your activity. Default to cellular connectivity (like LTE) if you’re not sure about a Wi-Fi connection. When shopping or trying to return something online, look for an HTTPS connection (signified by padlock or green bar) and never enter sensitive information over plain HTTP.

You can count on our security software solution to help make life a little easier on all of your devices.