The holidays are a hacker’s favorite time of year. The gift-giving season inspires us to spend a lot of money, which means that credit card numbers are up for grabs in bulk. As a consumer, make sure you keep an eye out for scams this holiday season.
Keep in mind that we’re just offering a few preventative measures. We can’t guarantee that your data will be protected from the business side. Some retailers, like Target, are known for being prone to data breaches, so you might consider paying cash when shopping there.
Do a Little Research
Before you decide to purchase, go online and see if there have been any considerable data breaches for the retailer recently. If there have been breaches, look at what they have done since to improve security. If you suspect that the retailer isn’t prioritizing consumers’ data safety, take your business elsewhere.
Check the Physical Area Around ATMs
People need cash during the holiday season, and hackers know that ATMs will be working overtime. ATMs can be secretly fitted with devices on the card reader slot, or even have devices attached to the back which send credentials to a third party. If an ATM has back panels missing, or something unusual attached to it, don’t use it, and only use those in well-traveled areas with security cameras in place.
Beware of Public WiFi
You know you’ll be on the internet constantly while shopping this holiday season, but never use public Wi-Fi if you can help it. Use your mobile data plan. Unsecured networks that don’t require a sign-in are frequently watched by hackers. Make sure you set your devices so that they don’t automatically connect to these networks.
Keep an Eye on Your Devices
Device theft is even more common during the holiday season, as more people are out shopping and celebrating. These are happy times for pickpockets, who are looking to steal not just your phone but the information on it.
For more tips and tricks on how to stay safe and secure during the holiday season, subscribe to Quikteks’s blog.