Another year is coming to an end. It seems we never have enough time in a day to do everything: office parties, shopping and family gatherings just add to our increasingly taxed schedules year after year. In this turmoil, it is easy to forget some good information security practices. To make sure you remain safe, here are some tips that are easy to follow and will ensure that you spend a happy holiday season with your loved ones rather than over the phone with your bank!
Shop in peace: Before making a purchase on a new website, make sure it is legitimate. Reading comments and opinions of other users can give you clues about this. You will want to be particularly careful if the price of the product seems too good to be true.
Protect yourself from sollicitation: Before you start shopping online, create a temporary email account. This way, your regular email account will not be swamped by hundreds of spam after the holidays.
Beware of public wireless networks: Avoid the temptation to connect to public WiFi networks. These are a prime target for cybercriminals. It is preferable to use secure wireless networks to make purchases or access banking information.
Disable your old accounts: Why not take advantage of the holiday season to close all the old accounts you no longer use? These are sometimes connected to third parties whose existence you are not even aware of and who do no more than collect, and especially resell, your information.
Clean up your social media: While you are cleaning up, also consider reviewing your privacy preferences on all your social media. Sometimes the rules or features change during the year, making your data more exposed to risks without your knowledge.
Use better authentication: Speaking of applications and social media, if you have the ability to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), do it! It is an excellent protection for a minimum of effort.
Give yourself a great gift: Why not give yourself a great gift that costs almost nothing: a password manager! These software are very practical, they will create strong passwords for you that you don’t have to remember. When you get to a website where you need to identify yourself, the software will do it for you. You will therefore only need to remember one password, the one to access the software itself. At the same time, a password manager will prevent you from using the same ID on different accounts, a very bad practice that is unfortunately too common.
Beware of unsolicited help: A large company calls you? Are you getting text messages from your bank? Does a government agency owe you money? Beware of all this spontaneous help that you didn’t ask for. Ask questions and don’t let yourself be convinced to act without having validated everything beforehand.
Check before clicking: There is a huge amount of spam carried by the Internet. Be careful about the links you click on. Do you know the person who sent you the email? If you move the cursor over the link of the email, is the link at the bottom of the screen the same? Are there spelling mistakes in the email address of your interlocutor? Don’t click too fast!
By following these few security rules, you will increase your protection and reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. This way, you will have a great holiday season in complete safety.