Unfortunately the holiday shopping season is a prime target for those looking to gain wealth off of unsuspecting shoppers, and vulnerable small and large businesses.
Every year we see an increase in ransomware, credit card theft, social engineering and phishing schemes in the months leading up to the Holiday Season. Considering current world events we will likely see an increase this year. Fortunately there are some things we can all do to protect ourselves, and our businesses.
1. Refrain from online shopping on company devices and refrain from clicking on web ads and email links; many may seem harmless but can contain links that redirect to spoofed sites designed to steal your credentials or deliver malicious payloads.
2. Audit your passwords, if you are using the same password across multiple sites or using simple passwords without a combination of capital letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers your password is vulnerable. A simple 8 character non-dictionary word password like jneuvops takes less than 5 hours to crack.
3. Though it is expedient, refrain from saving your card information when checking out.
4. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on all of your accounts that have it available.
5. Big box retailers are also a target. Consider using cash when shopping in-person.
Many of the online services and social media sites we use every day offer security checkups that can assist you with protecting your information. Consider taking some time to find these security checkups in your account settings and apply the recommendations you are comfortable with.