How to: Follow good cybersecurity practices around the holidays


The holiday shopping season is a prime time for identity theft and online criminal activity, so the TTU IT Division recommends that you be vigilant and follow good cybersecurity practices during such a festive season:

  • Avoid phishing schemes by being careful about clicking the links in emails, including holiday savings advertisements unless you are sure they are from a reputable retailer;
  • Beware of fake charities that use current national or world events to prey on the unsuspecting;
  • Keep your mobile devices close to you and don't leave them unattended, and be sure to password-protect your device, keeping it locked when not in use. A stolen smart phone may provide a criminal access to your credit card and bank account information, and to other online accounts and apps;
  • Don't install apps unless they are provided by a recognized and reputable app store;
  • Beware of eCards and other attachments in email. Opening an unexpected attachment can infect your devices;
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi for conducting personal business on your mobile device. Public Wi-Fi access is not secure and hackers can see what you are doing online, including your usernames and passwords;
  • Keep your operating systems and apps updated;
  • Install security software on your home and mobile devices whenever possible;
  • Don't post your holiday trip pictures to social media while away from home. This lets potential criminals know that your home is unoccupied;
  • Monitor your bank and credit card statements carefully for unknown charges that might be the result of internet criminals; and,
  • To prevent criminals from accessing your home systems such as home wireless, surveillance cameras, and security systems, change the default password on these systems.