Top 10 Cyber Security Recommendations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
November 23, 2023
The holiday season is just around the corner, and for many, it’s a time of great excitement and anticipation. However, it’s not just shoppers who are eager for holiday sales; cybercriminals are equally enthusiastic. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are prime opportunities for these malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data. To ensure a safe and secure shopping experience, we’ve compiled the top 10 security recommendations for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
One of the fundamental steps to bolster your cyber security is to keep all your devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, up to date. Cybercriminals can exploit outdated software and unpatched systems. Regularly check for software updates and security patches to safeguard your personal information.
The importance of strong and unique passwords cannot be overstated. Utilise a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable passwords, such as “123456” or “password.” We recommend using a password which is at least 12 characters long. Consider employing a reliable password manager to keep track of your credentials securely.
MFA adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It requires you to provide two or more verification forms before granting access. Ensure MFA is enabled wherever possible, especially on your email, online shopping accounts, and banking services.
When shopping online, always check for the padlock symbol in the address bar and confirm that the website’s URL begins with “https://“ instead of just “http://.” This indicates that the website uses encryption to protect your data during transmission. Be wary of suspicious websites and always purchase from reputable, well-known retailers.
Phishing emails are a common method used by cybercriminals during the holiday season. Be cautious when opening emails from unknown senders or those that seem suspicious. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unverified sources. Instead, verify the sender’s authenticity before taking any action.
Familiarise yourself with common holiday season scams, such as fake promotions, counterfeit websites, and charity scams. Always verify the legitimacy of offers or charities before making a purchase or donation. Staying informed about prevalent scams will help you spot red flags and avoid falling victim to cybercriminals.
With the increase in online shopping, your home network becomes more vulnerable. To enhance your cyber security, change the default password for your router, enable a strong network password, and set up a guest network for visitors. Regularly update your router’s firmware to patch potential vulnerabilities.
Throughout the holiday season, it’s essential to monitor your financial statements, including credit card and bank statements. Keep an eye out for any unauthorised transactions, no matter how small. Reporting suspicious activity promptly can prevent further financial damage.
Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure, making them an ideal hunting ground for cybercriminals. Refrain from conducting sensitive transactions or accessing personal information while connected to public Wi-Fi. If necessary, use a virtual private network (VPN) for an extra layer of protection.
In the event of a cyber security incident, data loss can be a significant concern. Regularly back up your data to an external drive or cloud-based storage solution. This way, even if you fall victim to a cyber-attack, you can recover your important files.
As the holiday shopping frenzy approaches, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and prioritise cyber security. Cybercriminals are well aware of the opportunities this season provides, and they will stop at nothing to exploit vulnerabilities. By following these top 10 Cyber Monday and Black Friday cyber security recommendations, you can safeguard your digital shopping experience and protect your sensitive data. Be proactive, stay informed, and enjoy a secure and worry-free Black Friday and Cyber Monday!