Christmas is a fun time of year, filled with delicious food and great fun! Still, for most of us, with holidays running out and deadlines to meet before the holidays, it’s also a time to work hard.
If you’re working online in the run-up to Christmas, then the chances are that you’re having a sneaky look for gifts on your breaks.
That might mean that you might be shopping for treats for your loved ones on your work devices, including mobile devices and desktop computers. While this is a fun way to pass the day, you also put your sensitive data at risk of cyber attacks.
Here are some practical tips to help you stay safe when shopping for gifts on work devices this festive season from our IT support experts.
Keep Your Antivirus Software Up To Date
Keeping your antivirus software up to date is a key part of anyone’s personal computer security process.
So, while it’s always tempting to ignore those annoying pop-ups, they could make a massive difference to your device security.
One of the most common cyber threats is malicious software entering your computer system, including malware, ransomware and more.
Once these viruses gain access to your device, they can infect your operating systems, encrypt valuable data and generally wreak havoc.
These issues are even worse if viruses get into your company’s network, so make sure your antivirus software is updated before you start your shopping.
If You’re Working Remotely Use A Private WI-FI Network
Remote working has become increasingly prevalent recently, and while it has many advantages for employees, there are also network security issues to take into account.
The most common is the use of public WI-FI networks. Public networks are a cyber risk as they can be accessed by anyone.
So, where possible, you should only shop using a secure WI-FI network to reduce the cyber security risks to your business.
Research Websites Before Buying On Them
When you’re shopping for gifts, you might encounter websites and e-commerce platforms that you’ve not seen before.
If you’ve never purchased from an online retailer before, then you should do your research to check that it’s a legitimate company.
That could include reading online reviews, checking out online mentions and more. When you’re happy, you can still shop without providing sensitive information to the site.
You can do this by using technology that encrypts your personal data, such as bank details and contact information.
While major retailers are usually safe, you should also make sure that you check that the URL is correct. Some platforms will imitate popular sites to attract unwitting shoppers and then use their tech to stead sensitive data, commit identity theft and generally compromise your cyber security.
Don’t Give Private Sellers Money Upfront
If you’re thinking of getting a unique, personal gift for that special someone, then you might want to use a private seller.
Many online auction sites and social media platforms allow you to buy and sell with private individuals, but you need to be careful.
Don’t provide your credit card details or personal information until you have the product. Make sure that you meet anyone you buy from in a neutral location to keep yourself safe.
Be Proactive If You Think Something’s Wrong
Digital attacks aren’t always instantly noticeable, so it’s crucial that you remain vigilant and report any unusual activity on your computer, network or another work device.
If you notice anything, then you should report it to your supervisor or team leader immediately. They can assess the situation and conduct a risk assessment if necessary.
Also, the cyber crime could be retrospective; a site could find your email address or contact information after your visit and then send a malicious email.
So, make sure that you delete suspicious email attachments to ensure ongoing data protection even after your shopping is done.
By being proactive, you can reduce the chances of cyber criminals causing security threats to your business’s precious data.
Educate Your Workforce And Stay Vigilant
If you’re a manager or business leader, then you need to make sure that you focus on providing your staff with the ongoing cyber security training they need.
While supporting them in protecting their work devices while Christmas shopping is important, you also need to ensure that they remain dedicated to ongoing cyber security for your business throughout the year.
That means offering them training on how to deal with cyber security challenges. If you work with a full-service managed IT support provider, like Texaport, then you can access this training and easily support your staff.
With our IT support, you can ensure that your computer systems and security controls are up to date and reduce the chances of data breaches.
Collaborating with our expert team of IT support providers, you can make the most of our wealth of cyber security resources and security solutions to reduce the chances of a cyber attack on your business.
Get in touch, we can explain our services in more detail and explore how you can use them to your advantage.