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The holiday season is upon us, and I wish everyone safe and joyous times. For many of us, the holidays mean celebrating with family and friends, finding and receiving special gifts, and giving thanks to those who have helped us throughout the year. However, even as we enter the season of gift giving and good tidings, cyber and other criminals are at large and more persistent than ever in seeking ways to compromise our identities, our credit, our livelihood, and even the wellbeing of our families.

 

Online and physical securities are vital to the defense and protection of both personal and professional assets. As we enjoy the festivities during this time of the year, let us also remember to take simple precautions to protect our homes, our work environment, and our families from those who may wish us harm.

  • Lock doors and/or otherwise secure areas of entry from unwanted intruders.
  • Do not provide personal or organizational information unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, Web sites or email messages.
  • Keep laptops, mobile storage devices and other valuables locked and secured.
  • Encrypt important data, particularly when traveling with it.
  • Ensure that your computer is up-to-date on all patches.
  • Ensure that your antivirus program is installed and up-to-date.
  • Do not enter your personal information in pop-up screens.
  • Do not click on any links or open any attachments in a suspicious email.
  • Be vigilant while you shop and be sure to protect your credit cards and other sources of personal information you carry with you.
  • Be aware and cognizant of others listening in if you have to provide credit card information via phone or otherwise verbally.

 

It would be wonderful to live in a world of good will and benevolence. However, until that world evolves, simple precautions can go a long way to help us remain out of harm’s way as we celebrate the end of this year and welcome a new one.

 

Happy Holidays and Keep Safe.