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Stay Secure This Holiday Season

Posted by Michael Goodwin on 20 December 2023
Stay Secure This Holiday Season

6 Essential Tips to Protect Yourself Online

This holiday season, it's crucial to prioritize your online security amid the festivities. Cybercriminals are opportunistic, and the holiday spirit can sometimes make individuals more susceptible to online threats. To ensure a safe and secure holiday season, here are six essential tips:

1. Conduct End-of-Year Backups

Before winding down for the holidays, take a moment to conduct end-of-year backups. Following the 3-2-1 rule—making three copies of your data, on two different types of storage media, and with one stored offsite—ensures that your critical files are secure. Whether you're heading on leave or staying on as part of a skeleton crew, regular backups are your safety net against data loss.

2. Guard Against Unattended Devices

Never leave your devices unattended, especially in public spaces. Whether it's a smartphone, laptop, or any storage media, an unattended device is an open invitation for malicious actors. Lock your devices, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), and ensure sensitive data is protected with strong passwords and encryption.

3. Stay Wary of Stray USB Drives

Resist the temptation to plug in stray USB drives found in public places. Cybercriminals often use this tactic to distribute malware. Once inserted, these drives can silently install malicious code, compromising your data and credentials. Exercise caution and avoid potential security risks associated with unknown USB drives.

4. Beware of Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient but can be risky. Cybercriminals often target unsecured networks to steal sensitive information. If you must use public Wi-Fi, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or connect to secured networks that require a password. Avoid accessing sensitive services like online banking, and ensure the websites you visit are secure (HTTPS).

5. Mind Your 'Out of Office' Messages

While 'Out of Office' messages are courteous, be mindful of the information you share. Cybercriminals can use detailed out-of-office notifications to launch socially engineered attacks. Keep your messages brief and avoid over-sharing personal details, especially about your whereabouts during the holidays.

6. Keep Software Updated

Regularly update your software and applications to patch vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals often exploit weaknesses in unpatched services, especially during times when security may be lax. Install updates before shutting down your devices for the holidays, providing an added layer of protection.

By incorporating these six essential tips into your holiday routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to online threats. Remember to stay vigilant, prioritize your cybersecurity, and enjoy a safe and secure holiday season.

Where to find more information

Loyal I.T. Solutions provides advice and implementation of the right hardware and software for your business. We are here to help. Please contact Loyal I.T. Solutions at 02 4337 0700 or reception@loyalit.com.au.

Michael GoodwinAuthor:Michael Goodwin
About: Michael Goodwin began his career in Information Technology in 1992 and he brings a wealth of experience to his is current venture - Loyal I.T. Solutions. Based on the NSW Central Coast, Loyal IT Solutions services businesses large and small from Sydney to Newcastle.
Connect via:LinkedIn
Tags:WindowsServicesITIT ConsultingComputer MaintenanceWindows UpdateCyber Securitybackup

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