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10 Tips for a Safe Online Holiday Season

Holidays are supposed to be a time for good tidings and good cheer. But hackers and hucksters don't take breaks. eSecurity Planet offers 10 online security tips to ensure you and your data enjoy a safe holiday season.


Cyber-safety shouldn’t take a break when heading home for the holidays. Between free time, new toys, and family travel, year-end festivities pose plenty of opportunity for on-line compromise. So stay safe this holiday season by avoiding our these ten pitfalls.

10) Malicious season’s greetings

December often brings an influx of e-mail greetings from distant family and friends, inviting recipients to “click here” to view an e-card, video, or animation. Alas, not all such messages are sincere. While some are harmless hoax-mails, cyber-criminals have been known to disguise viruses and spyware as phony season’s greetings. So don’t let holiday spirit trump common sense; open all file attachments and URLs with care.

9) Phishing for friends

From Facebook to Twitter, many users will use holiday down time to catch up on social networking. Unfortunately, social networking sites have become a fast-growing vector for phishing -- especially targeted phishing attacks. Was that friend invitation really sent by your old colleague Joe? Think twice before clicking – and never ever give out personal data to new “friends” that you don’t really know.

8) Wayward laptops

Somewhere between hotel, cab, and airport, thousands of travelers will lose laptops, PDAs, and phones this holiday season. New York’s LaGuardia airport lost-and-found alone has accumulated over 70,000 unclaimed mobile devices. So don’t leave a boarding gate, vehicle, or security checkpoint without taking a mental inventory of your electronics to ensure that all are still in your possession. Better yet, register all laptops and smartphones with services that can locate and recover or kill lost or stolen devices, such as Apple's MobileMe, Microsoft's MyPhone, or Spearstone's DiskAgent.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Top Ten Security Tips for the Holidays