Welcome to Part II of Online Risks to Avoid this Holiday Season. You can check out Part I HERE.
“10 Online Risks to Avoid During the Holidays (Kiplinger)
6. Phony apps. Be wary of the apps you download on your phone or Facebook page. Researchers recently found that Android phones are vulnerable to text message phishing if users download infected apps (learn more). Even legitimate apps might ask permission for too much information. So read the list of permissions an app requests to make sure it’s not asking for information you don’t want to provide.
7. Fake Google results. If you do a Google search for a popular toy your kid wants for Christmas, for example, there’s a good chance that some of the results will be links to fake sites or images that have viruses or malware. That’s because scammers build sites based on popular search terms. When doing your holiday shopping online, stick with sites you know (see our 15 favorite sites for finding deals online).
8. Forced browsing. This advanced hacker technique is used to steal your passwords when you log into your accounts using a public Wi-Fi connection. So don’t check your accounts online at the coffee shop or other public Wi-Fi spot. Even if you’re just browsing the Web using a public Wi-Fi connection, though, you can put yourself at risk if you’ve set your browser to save the passwords to your accounts. Hackers can view your browsing history, go to sites you’ve visited and steal passwords without you knowing.
9. Wi-Fi sniffing. This technique allows hackers to see what you’re doing on your computer if you’re using a public Wi-Fi source. If you surf the Web on your smart phone, use your 3G (or 4G) network connection if you can because it is more secure than Wi-Fi. To protect your laptop from hackers, sign up for a personal virtual private network service, such as Private Internet Access to secure your computer’s Internet connection.
10. Digital profiling. Your digital profile is basically what you say about yourself on social media. And thieves can make use of this information. For example, you shouldn’t announce on Facebook that you’ll be out of town over the holidays. You put your home at risk of a break-in or of being used by criminals as a mailing address to ship illicit packages.”
(Image Credit: Flickr/ MinifigShop)