“Be Cyber Wiser”: Stay Safe Online During the Holidays
During this Holiday season it is the busiest time for Cyber Criminals pushing Malware, Phishing and Spam. Be careful of online offers that sound too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true it may be a scam or phishing attack to steal your money or personal information. When it comes to avoiding malware, spam and Phishing attacks, there are a few tips to help you to be safe and smart online:
1. Tune up your defenses.
Before you shop online, make sure you have your systems security (firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware) installed and updated with the most current updates. Also, keep your operating system and web browser up-to-date with the latest versions and updates.
2. Check sellers out.
Conduct independent research before you buy online from a seller you have never done business with. Some attackers try to trick you by creating malicious Web sites that appear legitimate, so you should verify the site before supplying any information. Locate and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is a problem with your transaction or your bill. Search for merchant reviews. Never, ever give out personal or credit card information on web sites you are not sure of. Think before you “Click”
3. Make sure the site is legitimate.
Before you enter your personal and financial information to make an online transaction, look for signs that the site is secure. This includes a closed padlock on your Web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase site is encrypted or secured. Never use unsecured wireless networks like the ones in hotels, airports, cyber cafes, etc. to make an online purchase. Think before you “Click”.
4. Use Good Passwords.
Don’t use the same passwords for email, social networking and online accounts. Use special Passwords for Online banking and other financial transactions. Never, ever give out your ID and Password to anyone. Create passwords that are at least 8 Characters long (the longer the better) that are made up of Upper and lower characters, numbers and special characters. Don’t use any dictionary words for passwords. Finally change your password at a minimum every 180 days.