As we're sure you’re aware, every day there are more and more attacks on our security online – and it’s even more frequent around the holidays. While it’s the most wonderful time of the year, with parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting, we wanted to remind you to be on guard for cyber criminals looking to take advantage of your holiday busyness to compromise your online security. They hope you’ll be distracted, overwhelmed with extra tasks, and generally in a more giving mood.
We’re sure you know to be careful of your wallet in holiday crowds. We also wanted to remind you to be just as careful about your financial information online. To help you stay safe, here are some tips:
- Do your research before donating to charities. Organizations like Charity Navigator, one of the nation's largest and most-used evaluator of charities, provides detailed information to help you make good choices.
- Don’t give your account information to someone who calls you, even if it’s for a good cause. If you want to donate, check out the charity’s main number and call them back to donate.
- Be careful when considering whether to click on links you get in emails from unfamiliar websites. If the deal looks too good to be true, search the company’s name in your browser to get to the official website. And while you’re searching, make sure the company is reputable, too.
- Be careful of clicking on any email from an unfamiliar address.
- Sitting in a coffee shop using their public Wi-Fi? This connection is not secure, so wait to get to your secure online connection at home before doing any shopping.
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date on all your devices – computer, phone, or tablet.
- Don’t fall for “The IRS Scam.” The IRS will never call you to ask for payment. They send all notices by U.S. mail.
- Consider identity theft protection.
- If you suspect your financial information has been compromised, be sure to call your bank and credit card companies immediately.
We wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season. If you’d like more information, please feel free to call us at 630-873-3577.