Holiday Season brings Security Risks – how to stay safe
The folks behind all sorts of online threats know that the holiday season is their most wonderful time of the year. As people are participating in unprecedented e-commerce, introducing new hardware into their environments, and rushing around with easily-skimmed cards it can be hard to defend yourself from all angles of attack.
Security Risks while Shopping
Online shopping can be a huge time-saver but it’s also a big risk. Amazon has done a pretty good job of securing customer data, but big firms like Target and Home Depot have been the victims of cyber attacks. Here are a couple of easy tips to keep yourself safer while shopping:
- Use strong passwords and change them often
- Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts
- Pay in cash when shopping in person
- Only order over a secure connection (when you can see the little lock in the URL bar)
- Don’t shop on open wireless networks (like those at a college or a coffee shop)
Changing Hardware Environments
New kinds of tech get introduced around the holidays, but they aren’t always the safest things to bring into your ecosystem. Google Home and Echo Dot are cool toys, but they can store your searches. Web-connected devices like cameras or robots can be hacked to turn your device into part of a botnet. Even gifts like backup drives or a new phone for the office can pose a threat. Here are some things to keep you new hardware from becoming a headache:
- Manage the settings on your home assistant devices to prevent them from collecting data
- Change the default passwords on your IoT devices to prevent them from being hijacked by botnets
- Keep an up-to-date antivirus to prevent infections from new hardware like hard drives or flash drives
- Be cautious about downloading new apps for you phone – many of them are phishing scams or keyloggers
Defending Yourself can be difficult
There are all kinds of threats out in the world, but you can lower your personal risk by taking simple steps like updating programs and changing passwords frequently. Everyone should be running a strong, regularly-updated antivirus (we recommend ESET and you can call us if you’d like to purchase a license), and everyone should learn how to identify and avoid phishing attacks.
But what do you do to protect your business? What do you do to keep your work devices safe?
Business Protection is Priority One
Maybe more people are accessing your site this time of year, maybe your employees are handling heavier loads. There are a million things that can go wrong during this busy season and at PMCS we pride ourselves on preventing those problems. We take security very seriously and are proud of the ways that we can minimize risks to your business. PMCS relies on a suite of tools we can use to help you keep your business safe, including:
- Enterprise-grade SonicWall Firewall devices
- ESET Endpoint Protection Advanced – Antivirus for five or more users with an up-to-date threat console and remote monitoring
- Proactive Maintenance Plans that check your systems for security risks
- Backup Assist to keep your data safe and protect you from downtime in the event of an attack.
Don’t let yourself or your business be brought down by online threats this holiday season – call PMCS at (818)957-5647 for a free system assessment to identify any security risks. We’ll make sure your network is secure, your backups are stable, and that no downtime will plague you during this busy season.
Most businesses think their IT companies have done a great job of securing them, but when we come in with our tools we find gaps in coverage and all the flaws from previous systems. Give us a chance to explore your network and you’ll be shocked by the ways we can improve your security and protect your business and your customers.
Call to schedule your free assessment today!