1. Engage in Safe Online Shopping If you plan on online shopping during the holidays, consider creating a free email address for shopping specifically. This helps protect your primary/work email from junk, spam, or malware emails. Before you purchase anything online, ensure the website has a valid SSL certificate and uses encrypted payment process. Many payment vendors now offer MFA for online purchases, examples are AMEX SafeKey or Mastercard Click-to-Pay.
2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks Ideally, refrain from using public Wi-Fi networks at airports, coffee shops, hotels, etc. If you do decide to hop on a public network, do not conduct any transactions, i.e., online shopping or banking. Public Wi-Fi remains a prime target for criminals.
3. Update prior to travel Before departing on your vacation, ensure all of your devices are up to date. Make sure to update your smart-phones, work laptops, or personal laptops. Connecting unpatched devices to unsecure Wi-Fi networks, exposes you to significant risk.
4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Wherever the option is provided, enable Two-Factor Authentication. Even if a criminal guesses your password, MFA can block access.
5. Pay wisely Use a credit card for online payments or an established third-party payment site, such as Apple Pay or Pay-Pal. This offers improved buyers protection. Always monitor your account for fraudulent charges. Finally, refrain from using your debit card online, as this does not provide the same level of buyer’s protection as a credit card. Instead, consider linking your debit card to Pay-Pal, to receive buyers’ protection and MFA for payments.
The Team at Custos IQ wishes you Safe Travels and Happy Holidays!