This year has seen a rise in online shopping because people are acutely aware of their surroundings and want to avoid any unnecessary time in public.
There are many ways to protect yourself online and you can never be too careful. If you do find yourself wanting to get all your festive season shopping out of the way early and without having to leave home, here are 5 tips to keep hackers from stealing your information.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is
That unknown website selling the sold-out Xbox? The 90 percent discount
from subtly misspelled "Targett?"
Chances are those incredible offers probably are just that: incredible. So, think before you click -- or worse, disclose your username, password, or credit card information.
Don't assume your friend is your friend
With the pandemic, we're all feeling a bit isolated, especially as the holidays roll around. And friends and family are more important than ever.
But that unusual email from your old college friend may not be what it seems. And what looks like a fun attachment - or one posing as an emergency demanding fast action - could be poised to wreak havoc.
Again, think - or verify with your friend - before you click.
Manage those passwords
Nothing gets a hacker into the holiday spirit like the same weak password used for multiple accounts.
But keeping track of different, complex passwords can be a hassle (though not nearly as big a hassle as malware, ransomware, or identity theft). A secure password manager makes it easy to employ a unique password for each website you use. That way, even if you do get hacked, the damage will be limited.
Double the trouble (for hackers)
Two-factor authentication is a great way to dampen a hacker's holiday spirit. The best, like Cisco 's Duo Security, are heavily encrypted, benefit from a vast, global infrastructure, and are simple to use. But any device, app, or service that supports two-factor authentication between different services will be a good choice.
Stay up to date
Software developers work hard to constantly improve their work, fix bugs, and stay ahead of the hackers. But if you aren't updating your software, you're missing out on all those benefits. The good news is that automatic software updates, which were once problematic, are now highly reliable. So, turn them on and forget about them.