We’re full on turkey and pumpkin pie leftovers. The serious holiday gift buying has begun. It’s time to think about cyber security.cybertheif

 We all know how hackers use stolen data to create plausible emails to trick people into clicking harmful links and/or opening infected attachments, spreading malware, viruses, and other threats.

Yahoo’s data breach last September was a good reminder we need to be pro-active in protecting our data. I hope if you ever had a Yahoo account, you immediately changed your password or deleted the account if it’s inactive. If not, stop reading this blog and do it now.

We need to use caution when making on-line purchases or sharing posts on social media. We don’t want to put ourselves or anyone else at risk if we are hacked or have our data stolen in a cyber attack.

Here are seven tips for keeping your data safe all the time, not only during the holiday season.

  1. Use different passwords on all your accounts.
  2. Change your password and security question answers for all accounts regularly.
  3. Avoid your name, initials, or birth date in a password.
  4. Avoid actual words as part of a password.
  5. Keep your anti-virus/anti-malware and all your computer programs up-to-date.
  6. Frequently review all on-line accounts for suspicious activity.

Lastly, some reminders about your email.

~Never click on an email link if it’s unsolicited or from someone you don’t know.

~ Double-check before you click even if something seems to be from a friend, call, text, or email that friend and verify before you open.

~Regardless of how official an email appears never open unsolicited email. The IRS, your bank, your credit card companies, and other companies will NOT email you to ask for personal information. They already have it.

Use these tips and reminders about cyber security be security wise this holiday season and always.