Did you know that cyberattacks increase in the months of December and January? That’s right, hackers increase their efforts during these holiday months, so now is a better time than ever to use vigilance when browsing online or checking your email. The holidays are a peak time for cybercriminals to attack as users are busy and distracted, often not taking the care needed to protect themselves. It should be noted that laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all easy targets for cyberattacks during the holiday season.

Today, Teknabyte will be giving you a few useful tips that you can use to protect yourself from cyberattacks during the holiday season. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, and the chaos of the holiday season provides them with exactly the kind of opportunity they’re looking for. Protect yourself by keeping these tips in mind this holiday season!

Reset Any and All Frequently Used Passwords

The first tip that we can give you when it comes to protecting yourself from cyberattacks during the holiday season is to reset any and all frequently used passwords. You should be making the extra effort to ensure that your personal information is protected this holiday season by changing frequently used passwords – including safe codes and PIN numbers. You should also do your best to avoid using easily guessed phrases, personal information such as your birth date, or numerical sequences.

The National Institutes of Standards and Technology suggests creating strong passwords that utilize the typically forgotten human behavior element. This is because the length of the password has recently replaced the complexity and length due to certain components of complexity that can influence complacency. As an example, let’s use a phrase like “I bought my first car in North Carolina when I was 16.” A password utilizing this phrase could use a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers to result in something that looks like the following: “IB0TM1CAR1NNC@16.” While this is an easy enough phrase to remember, it’s difficult for cybercriminals to guess.

Pay Attention to Any Emails You Receive About Holiday Shopping

Often, cyberattackers take advantage of all of the emails you’ll receive regarding holiday shopping to slip in emails mimicking communications from retailers in hopes of capturing your personal information. Ask yourself whether or not the emails you receive seem suspicious or not. Did you order the shirt you’re being emailed about from Amazon? Were you expecting a package to be delivered from the UPS? Always think before you click. If an email seems suspicious, be wary and don’t click on it. You may just protect your personal information by avoiding suspect emails.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi Hotspots When Holiday Traveling

If you will be travelling this holiday season, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Although public Wi-Fi can be very convenient, it comes with its own risks. It is important to remember that public Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure and provide the perfect gateway for hackers to easily observe your online activity. Airport Wi-Fi hotspots, the place where you’re likely to find yourself during holiday travel, are especially risky. This is due to the fact that they are especially high-traffic areas where people are often in a hurry and very distracted.

If you find yourself in a situation where you absolutely must conduct an online transaction while traveling this holiday season that involves inputting sensitive personal information, be sure to use a VPN or elect to use your cellular connection instead. If at all possible, it’s imperative that you avoid any online banking activity or payment transactions when you’re utilizing a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Wait to connect to a private network instead – you’ll be happy you did!

Ensure Your Software is Up to Date

It is vitally important that you ensure your device’s software is up to date during the holiday season. This is because these software updates often include critical patches to identified security vulnerabilities. According to McAfee, many of the most harmful malware attacks take advantage of certain software vulnerabilities in common applications, such as browsers and operating systems. Always keep your software up to date to prevent these common malware attacks!

Boost Cybersecurity This Holiday Season with TeknaByte!

Now that you know some of the best ways to protect yourself from cyberattacks this holiday season, you can have the peace of mind that you’re doing what you can to keep your personal information safe. That being said, there’s even more you can do to protect yourself, your business, employees, and customers from cyberattacks: let TeknaByte help you!

At TeknaByte, we offer cybersecurity services that protect you so you can focus on growing other aspects of your business. Hackers are constantly looking for new ways to break through your defenses and, for this reason, you need a managed IT services provider on your side. With help available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from our Indianapolis location, we manage your IT and security so you can rest easy, no matter the time of day. Contact us today by giving us a call at (317) 620-3900! We want to help you stay protected this holiday season and beyond.