Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and millions of Americans are getting ready to celebrate with family and friends.
While you’re probably making travel plans, ensuring that your pantry is fully stocked, or updating your Black Friday shopping list, hordes of cyber crooks are waiting eagerly to strike, exploiting poorly managed cybersecurity postures - for profit, of course.
Here are Bitdefender’s cybersecurity tips to protect your privacy, data and money while traveling to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner table:
Sloppy password management can ruin your holiday if your credentials get compromised while travelling. Ensure that your online accounts are set up with unique and strong passwords to prevent criminals from taking over your accounts and buying expensive gifts on your credit card. Also, make sure to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).
With Bitdefender Password Manager you can generate strong and unique passwords, relieving you of the burden of having to memorize all of them, and store them in a secure and encrypted environment only you can reach. Once set up, the tool autofills your passwords whenever they’re needed, protecting you from shoulder surfers and keyboard snoops.
A stolen or lost device can be replaced, but your private data, family photos and other important files can’t. Always back up the data on your devices if you plan on leaving with a laptop, tablet or other device on your holiday trip.
Always keep your smartphones password- or PIN-protected and in a safe place so you won’t be targeted by pickpockets. The Bitdefender Anti-Theft feature included in Bitdefender Mobile Security (for Android) lets you remotely locate, lock, wipe or send a message to your device in case of loss or theft. Moreover, it allows your Android device to snap a mugshot of anyone who tries to tamper with it in your absence, then emails you the photo.
Most people who travel for the holidays connect to unsafe public WiFi networks in cafes and airport lounges to save on internet traffic data. However, you should steer clear from unsafe networks and hotspots, as they can leave you vulnerable to attacks by criminals who intercept your private data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. If you absolutely need to connect to such networks, make sure to use a VPN. Bitdefender VPN keeps your online whereabouts incognito, secures your traffic on public networks, enables access to geo-restricted content, and protects you against targeted attacks.
If online purchases are inevitable when traveling, a VPN can even improve the experience by allowing you to find cheaper plane tickets and hotel reservations.
An important cyber and physical safety measure when going on holiday is to avoid oversharing information on social media. Cybercriminals and other digital miscreants who may want to harm you can monitor your social media profile, then strike when they know you’re not at home. If you want to post photos of your trip, you can do so when you return.
If you need help finding out if your personal information and other key pieces of your digital identity are in the wrong hands, use Bitdefender’s Digital Identity Protection service. The privacy-focused tool offers a complete view of your online presence, helping you manage personal data to avoid privacy threats so you can protect your identity. On top of 24/7 data breach monitoring, you can detect social media impersonators who could ruin your reputation.
While on holiday, you might be tempted to spend extra on presents and Black Friday bargains - after all, the biggest sales event of the year kicks off this weekend.
To ensure your online security and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud, use a security solution that blocks online hazards and helps you evade fraudulent or malicious websites that can steal your money and ruin your holiday.
Bitdefender security solutions come with award-winning anti-malware protection and advanced anti-fraud and anti-phishing filtering systems. Bitdefender’s Safepay dedicated browsers (available for Windows) will secure your online shopping experience with built-in hotspot protection, blocking any attempts to take screenshots of our screen and preventing malicious actors from intercepting your keystrokes with an integrated virtual keyboard.
You can find more tips and tricks for safe Black Friday shopping in this dedicated guide.
Every year during the holiday season, millions of individuals fall victim to identity thieves and fraud. You can grab a Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection plan for more peace of mind amid growing identity theft and fraud. Subscribers get real-time data breach monitoring, fraud monitoring, stolen wallet assistance, restoration services, and up to $2 million in identity theft insurance, to help cover legal fees and other costs for fixing your identity.
Safe travels and happy Thanksgiving to all!