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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Holidays are good for criminals. Five rules of cybersecurity

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Fake last-minute travel deals or public Wi-Fi networks, a “friend” who asks for a quick transfer because they lost their phone – there is no shortage of threats during the holidays. Experts give five rules of cybersecurity and indicate what to remember to make your vacation safe.

1. Double check attractive offers

“Every super deal should raise suspicions, especially if the sender tells you to hurry with your decision. Before you pay for the trip by entering your payment card details, it is better to spend a few minutes and check the offer in another source and contact its author, e.g. by phone,” advise WithSecure experts.

2. Be careful with public Wi-Fi

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“For security reasons, when using public Wi-Fi, it is better to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) application, which creates a special 'tunnel' for data transmission and encrypts it, protecting against unauthorized access – especially when logging into sensitive accounts (e.g. bank or e-mail) or making a transfer,” experts recommend.

3. Beware of “friends” who ask for a quick transfer

“The popularity of fraud and money extortion via instant messengers such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is growing rapidly. Senders pretend to be family or friends, asking to transfer funds, e.g. via BLIK or to a phone number,” WithSecure warns.

He emphasises that “we should treat all such messages with suspicion and use another channel to ensure that we are talking to the person the sender claims to be” and “it is also worth agreeing on a password with friends and family – a key word that we can use to confirm their identity in crisis situations”.

4. Antivirus and updates are essential

“We primarily use social media on smartphones, but also online banking and e-commerce services. (…) In addition to security software, you should also remember to regularly update all applications and the system. This helps to patch security holes before criminals can exploit them,” the experts explain.

5. Track your transactions

They add that “it is worth regularly checking your bank's transaction history to be able to quickly spot suspicious activity – especially after returning from holiday”, and “it may also be helpful to use prepaid cards, as well as setting low daily limits on the card to minimise losses in the event of an incident”.

“First of all, you should stay calm – even if something disturbing happens and, for example, you receive an SMS with information about a transfer order from your account. You should not ignore such a message, but you should also never click on the links in it or dial the number from which the SMS came. You should always verify it directly with the bank. There are also websites that allow you to check whether, for example, your email address has ever been leaked and found itself in a public database,” the experts explain.

As stated in the press release, “WithSecure, formerly F-Secure Business, is a European cybersecurity partner trusted by IT service providers, MSSPs and enterprises worldwide” that “delivers results-based cybersecurity solutions that protect mid-market businesses.”

Main image source: Shutterstock

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