During this time of year, cyber-attacks are on the rise. Ancora wants to help you stay cyber-safe during the holidays, so we have compiled some general tips to help protect you all year-round.
Use Dual-Authentication whenever possible. If you take only one thing from this article, this should be it. You are probably familiar with this form of protection from several websites you may visit that require a single-use code be entered in addition to your password. This is called dual-authentication or two-factor authentication and, most typically, involves a code is sent to you via text or email that must be entered as part of the log-in process to verify your identity. This type of protection significantly reduces the likelihood of a cyber-criminal gaining access to an account. This is an important protection because, if an attacker does gain access to your email or financial institution, they can wreak havoc that can take years to recover from. Dual-authentication is a simple step that can save you time and potentially money.
Use Different and Complex Passwords for Different Sites
Using the same, simple password for all of the websites you visit is potentially making it very easy for a cyber-criminal to compromise various aspects of your identity. Longer passwords that use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters can make it much more difficult for cyber-criminals to guess a password. Make sure you do everything you can to minimize the impact of a compromised password.
Do Not Broadcast Travel Plans
This time of the year is prime travel season and you may want to make all your friends jealous by announcing that “We are boarding our flight to Florida!” on your social media page. It’s great that your friends and family know, but you also just announced to the rest of the world that you won’t be home anytime soon. Keep your home safe, your friends can be jealous of your pictures after you are home.
Unexpected shipment email from Amazon? Don’t click on that tracking number. Free gift card for a survey? Doubtful. Don’t be in a hurry to click on any link or attachment in an email you weren’t expecting, even when it appears to be coming from a trusted source. Take a moment to verify the legitimacy prior to clicking on any links. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more helpful tips, we have provided a link to this article from Fidelity, which goes into even more detail on ways to stay cyber-safe.
We also want to bring your attention to a sophisticated Charles Schwab brand impersonation scam that is currently ongoing.
Other things to watch for are fake Amazon or bank requests that claim “you may have a fraudulent transaction”. These types of institutions will not reach out to you via email. And finally, as we head into the holiday season, watch out for the “your package is on its way” phishing emails. More information on how you can protect yourself in these situations is included in this article.
Ancora is committed to protecting your assets and personal information. If you believe your identity or email has potentially been compromised, please reach out to an Ancora team member immediately. We will put protections in place to ensure all your assets and information gets locked down. Additionally, we are happy to make resources available to help remediate your issues. As always, thank you for your trust and stay cyber-safe this holiday season.