As the holiday shopping days are dwindling down, I am realizing how little shopping I have done, and now I have to get it all done at the last minute. I have been hopping from one online retailer to another in a shopping frenzy. All of this online activity got me thinking about tips I am using to Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season.Even if you are super busy, you can still take steps to protect yourself with these quick and simple safety tips. They take very little time to complete, and can give you peace of mind as you go about your holiday shopping. Thanks to Google and the Forward Influence Network for sponsoring this conversation. All opinions are my own.
WHY THE RISKS OF ONLINE SHOPPING INCREASE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
- During the holiday season there’s an increased amount of online activity, account logins, and online purchases. This increased activity can result in overall compromised online security.
- Phishing is a year round problem. Phishing is when people accidentally give their information away to a hacker. This can be more of a problem during the holiday season.
- Many of us will receive new devices as gifts. This means we are signing into accounts on new devices or might be downloading new apps without verifying they’re secure.
- If you are trying to save some money, you might create a new account with a retailer to get an X% off deal. If you use the same password again and again with various sites, it can get compromised.
THREE SIMPLE TIPS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Protecting yourself and your accounts online during the holidays is easy with these tips from Google. The best part? All these tips and products are completely FREE. How’s that for a holiday gift?
Using unique, strong passwords for your accounts will help you to stay more secure online. I admit, in the past I have been guilty of using a similar password for many sites. I was trying to save time and not have to write down lots of passwords. But this practice was not a good idea. It’s like using the same key to lock your home, car and office—if someone gains access to one, all of them could be compromised.
So I changed my passwords to be unique for each site I visited. That was a good start, but not enough. I also needed passwords that were strong. Consider using a password manager (like the one built into your Google Account) to help you create, remember, and store all your passwords. I love how the password manager built into my Google account comes up with unique, strong passwords, so you don’t have to. Then it will store those passwords so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. You can also check the security of your saved passwords with a password checkup.
If you are anything like me, you may not think about updating your software or how important it can be to keep you safe online. Some software, like Chrome, Android, and iOS, will automatically update so you never need to worry about doing it yourself. This is a big help! You’ll just get a reminder on your screen when it is time to update. For other services that send notifications when it’s time to update, don’t click “remind me later”— take the time to update right away. Keeping your software up to date is an easy way to protect yourself online since many updates address newly discovered vulnerabilities that are being exploited.
TAKE THE GOOGLE SECURITY CHECKUP
You can take the Google Security Checkup for free. This step-by-step tool helps protect the security of your Google Account with personalized recommendations. You can manage which third-party apps have access to your account data, check your saved passwords for security issues, and more.
All the tips to Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season that I have mentioned are free. It will cost you absolutely nothing to use these tips, be more secure online and enjoy a safer holiday season. You can find a full list of security tips and best practices from Google here: g.co/securitycheckup. Happy shopping!