MASECO’s eight tips to keeping your family safe and secure online this Christmas
The holiday season is a time for families to come together and celebrate. But it's also a time when scammers and cybercriminals are on the lookout for ways to take advantage of people. Within this article, Andrew Benson, Partner and Chief Technology Officer, shares some tips to help you keep your family safe and secure online this Christmas.
The holiday season is a time for families to come together and celebrate. But it's also a time when scammers and cybercriminals are on the lookout for ways to take advantage of people. Andrew Benson, Partner and Chief Technology Officer, shares some tips to help you keep your family safe and secure online this Christmas.
- Be aware of phishing scams. Phishing is a type of online fraud where scammers send fake emails or texts that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or retailer. They often include links to malicious websites or attachments that can infect your computer with malware. Be extra cautious of any unexpected emails or texts, even if they appear to be from a trusted source. If you're not sure whether an email is legitimate, contact the company directly to confirm.
- Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in emails from people you don't know. Cybercriminals often use phishing scams to spread malware. If you receive an email from someone you don't know, even if it looks legitimate, do not click on any links or open any attachments. This could infect your computer with malware that can give the cybercriminal access to your personal information.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date. Antivirus software can help protect your computer from malware and other online threats. Make sure you have a robust antivirus program installed on your computer and that it is always kept up to date.
- Use strong passwords and never reuse them. Strong passwords are essential for protecting your online accounts. They should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like your name or birthday. And never reuse passwords across different accounts. If a cybercriminal gains access to one of your accounts, they could then use your password to try and break into other accounts.
- Be cautious when shopping online. When shopping online, only use trusted websites and make sure the website is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. You can tell if a website is using SSL encryption if the URL starts with "https" and there is a lock icon next to it. Avoid clicking on links in emails that take you to a website to make a purchase. It's best to type the URL of the website directly into your browser.
- Keep your personal information private. Be cautious about what personal information you share online, including on social media. Cybercriminals can use this information to commit identity theft or other fraud. Limit the amount of personal information you post on social media and only share it with people you trust.
- Monitor your child's online activity. If you have children, monitor their online activity and help them understand how to stay safe online. Teach them not to share personal information, such as their name, address, or school, with people they don't know online. And show them how to report suspicious activity to you or to a trusted adult.
- Be aware of scams targeting seniors. Seniors are often targeted by scammers because they may be more trusting or less likely to be familiar with technology. Be extra cautious of any unsolicited calls, emails, or visitors offering services or asking for personal information. If you're not sure whether something is legitimate, ask a trusted family member or friend for their opinion before taking any action.
By following these tips, you can help keep your family safe and secure online this Christmas.