We told you that cyber criminals are very resourceful and you wouldn’t think your coffee pot or a delivery notice could make you vulnerable. Unfortunately, they can but taking a few precautions you can stay safe.
Change your coffee pot’s password
Connectable devices will be a hot item this holiday season, whether they’re coffee pots you can turn on with an app on your phone, a drone or a smart light bulb system. But they’re also eminently hackable and most come with laughably easy pre-set passwords that take hackers only a few second to get past. When you’re setting up your new gadgets, take the extra five minutes to reset the password they came with, so your device doesn’t run the risk of becoming part of someone else’s zombie botnet.
Don’t hand over your credit card number
It’s tempting to let a website keep your credit card number and information on file. But if that site gets breached and it hasn’t done a good job of protecting your and everyone else’s credit card information, it could mean trouble. “While it’s a little more work to enter your information each time you make a purchase, you are less likely to be compromised if a website is hacked,” said cyber services lead with KPMG.
Read through your credit card bills
While it can be daunting to go through your January and February credit card bills line by line and confront exactly how much you spent, it’s vital to catch any mistakes and hacks that might have gotten through. If you see a charge you don’t recognize, call immediately to check it out. Too often hackers presume people won’t notice the $40 here or $20 there on their cards and thereby miss fraudulent charges. Get them reversed quickly so you don’t have to pay.
Careful of package delivery notices
Phishing emails that try to get you to click on a link that can install malicious software on your computer are a perennial problem. This year Intel Security says it’s seen an uptick in fake delivery notices.
Don’t be a victim of spear phishing
These look like the common email notices sent out when something you’ve ordered online has been shipped. They might say, “Click here for expected delivery date,” except they aren’t from an actual store but instead from hackers.
During the holiday season we tend to be rushed, and we tend to click on things that we maybe shouldn’t. I would be really careful about the emails I click on. If it seems the slightest bit fishy, don’t click on the link but instead go to the website of the store the delivery notice purports to be from.