This Christmas, Beware of Hacking Attempts

Photo of person using laptop illustrates blog: This Christmas, Beware of Hacking Attempts

Christmas is the merriest season of the year, but it also offers ideal conditions for hacking attempts. Keep reading to learn why you should be especially careful these days, and what steps you can take to protect your data.

Why Are Hacking Attempts Common During the Holidays?

The holidays, and in particular the days around Christmas, have become a hunting ground for hackers looking to steal personal information. This phenomenon is caused by a combination of circumstances that favor cyber-criminals:

  • Many employees are on vacation, which means that many companies have to let their guard down.
  • People are more willing to open unsolicited emails, especially if they promise holiday deals/discounts.
  • The holiday season offers myriad opportunities to trick unsuspecting victims through email: virtual greeting cards, invitations, and other holiday-related content.

How to Protect Yourself

In order for most hacking attempts to succeed, you must be tricked into performing certain actions, such as clicking on a link or downloading a file. This means that being cautious when you use the internet is your best line of defense. Other steps you can take include:

  • Use safe passwords. Choose passwords of at least eight characters that include a mix of upper and lower case, special characters and numbers.
  • Use multi-factor authentication. When available, use this feature, where a website asks you for two pieces of information before granting access. This is not a silver bullet but makes hacking attacks less likely.
  • Be extremely careful with links and attachments. These are the resources that hackers use more often, so don’t click on a link or download an attachment unless you know the sender.
  • Backup your data. In itself, this doesn’t prevent hacking attacks, but it can make all the difference if you can’t access your data after a breach.

More Tips About Taxes

Learning more about taxes is always a smart move, as it helps you avoid fines and missed deductions. Here are some previous posts you may find interesting.

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